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Drink-driver jailed after great-grandmother dies following hit-and-run in Nottingham

A family has paid tribute to a beloved mother of six, grandmother to 21 and great grandmother to 14 who died after a drink-driver knocked her over and fled the scene.

Sixty-five-year-old Susan Wagstaff died after being struck by a van which mounted the pavement in Forest Town, Mansfield.

The driver, Martin Illic, was still drunk and in bed asleep when he was arrested by police a short time later.

The 38-year-old initially denied drink-driving and claimed he had no knowledge of the collision during interviews with officers.

However, specialist police teams were able to put together a case against him and Illic was jailed for six years when he appeared at Nottingham Crown Court on Friday (25 November 2022).

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After Illic’s sentencing, Susan’s family released a statement saying:

“Susan Wagstaff, our caring, kind mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, sister and daughter was taken away from us far too early. Her absence is and will be missed forever by all the family. Hopefully we get some justice that you deserve.”

Susan was walking home from work in Newlands Road, Forest Town, at around 10pm on Sunday 26 September 2021, when the incident occurred.

Illic’s Citroen Berlingo van was travelling in the same direction when it mounted the pavement and collided with her. Officers and paramedics attended but she was sadly pronounced dead at the scene a short time later.

Illic fled the scene immediately after the collision, crashing into several parked vehicles before leaving the damaged van close to his home in a nearby street.

Police found him in bed when they attended the home at around 11.50pm. He was breathalysed and found to be three times over the drink-drive limit.

During interviews, Illic said he had met a woman for a drink at a nearby pub and claimed he was not feeling the effects of alcohol.

Illic told officers he had no recollection of a collision and did not believe he had left the road at any stage.

He eventually admitted causing death by dangerous driving on 1 November this year.

Following Friday’s sentencing, Detective Constable Emma Temple, from Nottinghamshire Police’s Serious Collision Investigation Unit, said:

“The devastating impact of Illic’s drink-driving will be felt by Susan’s loved ones for the rest of their lives. Our thoughts remain with her family and friends.

“This collision could have been avoided had Illic shown any respect for the law and other road users and made the responsible decision not to drive after drinking excessive amounts of alcohol.

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“This case serves as a reminder to all of the dangers of drink-driving on our roads which can result in fatal consequences. Now, more than ever, coming up to the festive period when people will be out celebrating. People are reminded not to get behind the wheel of a car under the influence or drink or drugs.

“I also hope it sends a clear message to other drivers – if you are found to be breaking the law and putting other people’s lives at risk you will be brought before the courts.”

Illic was also banned from driving for eight years.

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