Zimbabwean immigrant, Njabulo Nyathi, would not fork out for a £5 taxi fare home from Cahoots bar in Basildon, despite going on a three-hour drinking spree.
Having decided to drive home, Nyathi, who was three-times over the drink-drive limit, failed to spot 'no entry' signs as he drove on to the dual carriageway the wrong way. He was also, apparently, unaware of panicked drivers flashing him, tooting their horns and swerving out of the way as he raced down the motorway for a mile at 55mph before ploughing into Sam and killing him.
Witnesses described Nyathi as 'looking ill,' as if he was 'slumped over the wheel.'
Sentencing Nyathi to five years in jail, Judge Overbury said:
"Despite the fact that you must have felt drunk and must have experienced the associated affects on your senses, you chose to put yourself behind the wheel of a 4x4 vehicle and drive. That puts you in charge of a lethal weapon which had the potential to wreak havoc with other road users."Insp Alan Jelley, head of the Laindon road policing unit at the time, said:
"Nyathi was a reckless, stupid man... I am confident he knew he was going to drive after consuming a large quantity of alcohol in a town centre bar... He sent panic through several motorists before crashing into Sam's car, causing him to suffer fatal injuries. He now has many years to contemplate his actions - the actions which caused Sam's family heartache a day after his mother's birthday and just a week before Christmas...
Sam's death was needless. The crash was down to Njabulo Nyathi's irresponsible behaviour."
Sam is pictured below: