Terrifying moment drugged-up man kills girlfriend as he ploughs car 22ft off bridge

WARNING, VIDEO MAY BE DISTRESSING TO SOME READERS: Danielle Andrews was in the front seat of a VW Golf that was being driven by Andrew Vowles when he blew a red light and smashed through metal barriers

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Wales: Car plunges off 22ft M4 bridge in fatal crash

This is the terrifying moment a drugged-up man drives through a red light and plunges 22 feet off a bridge killing his girlfriend.

Danielle Andrews, 28, was in the front seat of a VW Golf that was being driven by Andrew Vowles.

He blew through a red light and smashed through the metal barriers which caused the car to spin through the air and hit trees as it fell 22 feet.

The mum-of-four was pronounced dead at the scene near the Coryton interchange in Wales in the early hours of November 28, 2020.

Vowles, 33, escaped with minor injuries.

The night before the crash the couple, who had been dating for about seven or eight months, checked into the Park Hotel in Cardiff and went for a meal and drinks, Cardiff Crown Court heard.

Andrew Vowles was jailed for seven years and six months after pleading guilty to causing death by dangerous driving



Danielle Andrews, 28, was pronounced dead at the scene



Rachel Knight, prosecuting, said that when they got back other guests complained of hearing shouting and smashing noises from their hotel room, and the couple had let off a fire alarm on three occasions before staff warned them they would have to leave the hotel if their behavior continued.

The couple were then seen on CCTV leaving the hotel at around 3.45am, with Vowles driving through the city centre, before approaching the A470 slip road.

Just before 4am a text was sent from a mobile phone belonging to one of the pair to a drug dealer asking for more cocaine.

Ms Knight said there was heavy rainfall as Vowles drove at speeds of up to 64mph up the 250 meter slip road, which had a 40mph speed limit, ploughing through the red light.

Stills from CCTV footage showing the car being driven by Andrew Vowles blowing through the red light



Vowles missed the turn at the top of the road and drove straight ahead across two lanes.

He then hit a kerb, shot across a grass verge, through heavy metal railings and became airborne.

The vehicle spun as it traveled at speeds of 43mph and fell down a 22-foot drop into dense woodland, colliding with trees.

Vowles flagged down a passing HGV vehicle for help, and later told police officers who arrived on the scene that there had been “two, three or four” passengers in the car.

Danielle’s family described her as a ‘vivacious and intelligent young woman’



Danielle’s family say her children have ‘been robbed of the opportunity to know their mother’



After being released from hospital, he was arrested and in an interview blamed Ms Andrews for the incident in the hotel room, but offered no explanation for the dangerous driving.

He was re-arrested in July 2021 when he once again gave a “no comment” interview.

The court was told the offense put him in breach of a previous suspended sentence where in May 2020, he had been charged with harassment and criminal damage relating to his former partner, and mother of his child, and made the subject of a restraining order, which he subsequently breached on two occasions, resulting in a 20-week suspended sentence.

In a victim impact statement, Ms Andrews’ family described her as a “vivacious and intelligent young woman” who was very close to her 86-year-old grandmother, who had now been “deprived of that companionship in her last years”.

This the moment Vowles flies through the metal barriers



They added: “Danielle put her trust in Andrew Vowles when she got in the car that night but he betrayed that trust. We have heard no expression of remorse or explanation.

“Andrew Vowles’ disgraceful behavior has not only robbed Danielle of her future but robbed her children of the opportunity to know their mother. She deserved better.”

Vowles was found to have a high amount of cocaine by-product in his system – 254 microgrammes per liter, the court heard.

Owen Williams, mitigating said: “The mitigation I offer to the court is not meant to detract or minimize the profound impact on Danielle Andrews’ family – their pain and suffering is immeasurable.

“Mr Vowles can never make amends for his wrongdoing. Nothing he says through me or nothing he does will bring back the life that has been lost. But he wishes to express his true remorse and is truly remorseful for what he has done and acknowledges the colossal impact on those who loved the deceased.”

He added: “Following the break-up of his marriage and the break-up of a subsequent relationship the defendant’s life took a downward spiral, linked to his drug misuse. His chaotic lifestyle led to his offending.”

Vowles, of Tir-Y-Berth, near Bargoed, pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving.

Sentencing, Judge Richard Williams said Vowles had expressed self-pity rather than remorse and added: “You drove at excessive speeds in bad weather conditions in flagrant disregard for the rules of the road.

“Remarkably, you were able to escape and flagged down a lorry.

“You did not answer [police] questions but blamed the deceased for having to leave the hotel earlier that evening. You were interviewed for a second time in July, 2021, when you again took the opportunity to blame the deceased for having to leave the hotel.

“You admitted taking cocaine but said you had a high tolerance and thought it had little effect [on your driving] but you have now abandoned that position.

“This is as clear a case of dangerous driving as can be but you did not indicate that at magistrates’ court.”

He was sentenced to seven years and six months and told he would serve half the sentence in custody and the second half on license.

He was also disqualified from driving for a total of five years, to begin when he was released, or eight years and nine months from sentencing.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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