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Frankie, who was 17 weeks pregnant, was driving on the M66 in Greater Manchester on May 13, with her two sons and nephew in the car. The 38-year-old had a punctured tyre and pulled over on the hard shoulder to make a call.
Soon after, her vehicle was hit by a BMW being driven erratically by Adil Iqbal, who was seen weaving in between vehicles, dangerously undertaking and reaching speeds of up to 123mph.
He had been filming himself throughout the journey – holding the wheel with one hand and holding his phone with the other.
On July 19, 2023, he was jailed for just 12 years, for killing Frankie and seriously injuring her two children and her nephew. He was also banned from driving for just 13 years.
And if that wasn’t heartbreaking enough, because Frankie was 17 weeks pregnant with her daughter, Neeve, her killer was only charged with one count of causing death by dangerous driving. In law, an unborn child is not recognised as a person until the pregnancy has reached 24 weeks.
Since Frankie’s death, her partner, Calvin Buckley, has joined RoadPeace in campaigning for stronger sentences for dangerous drivers who kill and is calling for urgent improvements to be made to the justice system.
He said: “What I witnessed that day, that weekend, those hours of desperation, those minutes praying for a miracle or those seconds watching my partner take her last breaths, will stay with me for a lifetime.”
The lawyers representing Frankie’s family were equally shocked and sickened by the sentence that was handed down.
Polly Herbert, of Hugh James Solicitors, commented: “This is one of the worst cases of dangerous driving I have seen in nearly 20 years of supporting bereaved families and those who have suffered life-changing injuries as a result of road crashes.
“Given the horrendous, aggravating features in this case and the sentencing powers available to the court, the chance of a life sentence was discussed prior to the hearing.
“It was hoped that a maximum sentence would serve as a stark warning to those drivers who use our public highways as speedways that they will be held accountable for their actions and the deliberate disregard of the safety of other road users.”