Drug driver fled from fatal collision in a taxi leaving her friend to die in the passenger seat

Image credit: Cambridgeshire Constabulary

A drug driver who collided head-on with a van and then fled the scene leaving one of her passengers to die in the back seat has been jailed.

Kathryn Watkins, 35, of no fixed abode, called her friend Alex Edney on the afternoon of 25 May and asked him to give her a lift from Hastings to Peterborough.

Mr Edney and his friend immediately drove to pick Watkins and another woman up, who both sat in the back of the car.

With Mr Edney driving the group made their way towards Peterborough, but Watkins began to get agitated at how long the journey was taking.

Alex Edney - Image credit: Cambridgeshire Constabulary

At a service station on the M25 Watkins swapped to be the driver but after a road rage incident Mr Edney asked her to pull over and the pair swapped again.

Watkins continued to be angry, but when told by Mr Edney’s friend to calm down, she stood up in the rear of car and punched him in the face at least four times.

The man asked Mr Edney to stop the car and left the vehicle, before the remaining group of three continued their journey.

At 1.23am the following morning (26 May) the man received a text from Mr Edney asking him for help as Watkins was once again in the driving seat. Cell site analysis tracked Mr Edney’s phone onto the A1M near Sawtry.

Kathryn Watkins - Image credit: Cambridgeshire Constabulary

Two minutes later the man called police and officers found him by the side of the road on the A1307.

Less than 20 minutes later, at 1.42am, police were called to reports of a head-on collision between a Vauxhall Astra and a Mercedes Sprinter van. The witness also told officers that two women had fled the scene on foot leaving a man in the back of the car behind, who was struggling to breathe.

Watkins and her friend called a taxi five minutes later and were taken to Peterborough. The driver described Watkins as being “very angry and swearing”.

Officers and paramedics arrived at the location of the crash at an industrial estate on Southgate Way, Peterborough, and Mr Edney, 44, of Romsey Close, Aldershot, Hampshire, was declared dead at the scene.

In a statement released at the time, his family said: “Alex was a loving son, grandson, dad and brother. He was a good friend to many, always willing to help others and he will be sorely missed by all who knew him.”

Image credit: Cambridgeshire Constabulary

At 2.40am, police received a call from the ambulance service requesting help at a house in Fellows Gardens, Peterborough.