Driver who killed loving Lancaster couple in horror M6 crash is sent to prison for eight years

David and Patricia Howard
David and Patricia Howard

A man who caused the deaths of a husband and wife from Lancaster in a motorway crash has been jailed for a total of eight years.

David and Patricia Howard died following the collision close to junction 31a for Fulwood at around 9.55pm on Sunday November 11 last year.

Motorist James Nichol

Motorist James Nichol


Jamie Michael Nichols, of Wesley Street, Ossett, Wakefield, West Yorkshire, admitted two counts of causing the couple’s death by driving an Audi dangerously on the northbound M6.


Nichols’ Audi collided with the couple’s Vauxhall Vectra, which hit a Volkswagen Transporter.

Read more: Lancaster family pay tribute to parents killed in M6 crash near Preston


The Volkswagen Transporter then collided with a Citroen CX Athena.


The emergency services attended and Patricia, 58, who was driving the Vectra, was sadly pronounced dead at the scene.


David, 57, who worked at Premierline Business Insurance in Mannin Way off Caton Road, was taken to Royal Preston Hospital, but tragically died a short time later.


The M6 northbound was closed for more than six hours while accident investigators attended the scene.


Harrowing statements about the impacts of David and Patricia’s deaths, penned by their family, were reading during Nichol’s sentencing hearing at Preston Crown Court.


The 23-year-old had admitted further charges of causing serious injury to another woman by dangerous driving, fraud by false representation by using a man’s bank card to obtain an insurance policy to drive the car, and two counts of causing death by driving a vehicle without a licence.


Judge Robert Altham ordered Nichols to be disqualified from driving for a total of 11 years.


It includes an extended period of four years under section 35 of the Road Traffic Act, and he must do an extended retest before he gets his licence back.


The case comes just a day after another man was jailed for causing the deaths of two Lancaster women by careless driving on the A6.

Read more: Families of Forton friends Daphne Ball and Angela Murphy tell court of devastating impact as Blackpool driver who killed them is jailed