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Scot to face Spanish drink driver in court after she killed three of his friends

A Spanish woman arrested over a drink-drive triple-death crash which left a Scottish triathlete needing 17 operations after 19 days in a coma, has agreed to plead guilty in court on Monday.

Mavi Sanchez is expected to receive a prison sentence of just three years and nine months despite admitting to three crimes of manslaughter, two of wounding, driving under the influence of drink and drugs and failing to render aid after an accident.

Her legal representatives have told expat Aberdeen oilworker Scott Gordon’s lawyer she will not seek to contest the charges at a court in the town of Gandia near Valencia where she was due to be tried over three days next week.

She is expected to have to do just six more months behind bars because she has already spent time in prison on remand.

Dad-of-two, Scott had been preparing himself for his first encounter with Sanchez since the life-changing moment their paths crossed when she crashed into him and five other members of his triathlon club during a Sunday morning training session while high on drink and drugs.

Two of Scott’s cycling companions, 28-year-old Eduardo Monfort and Luis Alberto Contreras, 53, died instantly and a third, Jose Antonio Albi, also 28, five days later in hospital.

A fourth man, Andres Contreras who is Luis’ son, was also critically injured.

Scott Gordon in hospital showing his injuries

Sanchez, banned from driving for eight months after failing a breath test in 2013, was nearly four times over the Spanish drink-drive limit and also failed a drugs test after the fatal accident.

She was pictured at the scene with blood over her hands and forearms after crossing to the wrong side of the N332 road near Oliva in her Ford Mondeo around 60 miles north of Alicante and hitting the cyclists, mostly members of the triathlon section of an athletics club based in the Costa Blanca holiday resort of Javea.

The 32-year-old pizza parlour waitress was due to be tried by a professional judge without a jury whose principal task following her police confession would have been to decide whether to sentence her to the maximum four years in prison under the Spanish legislation in force at the time of the May 7 2017 horror smash.

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The same offences today in Spain would be punishable by a jail sentence of up to nine years following a change in the law.

Oscar Anton, the lawyer representing 49-year-old Scott and the other survivors, confirmed: “The driver’s lawyer has contacted me and said she will accept the maximum penalty on Monday.

“It appears she did not want to go through a three-day trial that would have thrust her into the media spotlight.

“If she sticks to her word the defendant will accept her four year prison sentence which is the most she can receive.

“But prosecutors are obliged to reduce the sentence by three months because of her admission of guilt and she will have to serve a third of the sentence.

Scot to face Spanish drink driver in court after she killed three of his friends
Traffic police at the Accident scene

“As she spent a year behind bars on remand she will have to do another six months in jail.

“This will have to be ratified before a judge in court before she goes back to prison.”

Scott had to have a life-saving full blood transfusion and was in an induced coma for 19 days.

His injuries included a broken jaw, broken femur and tibia bones in both legs, a broken right arm and a collapsed lung.

He still remembers nothing about the accident to this day and his wife Corinne ordered his first hospital visitors to go along with the story he had fallen off his bike in a “little accident” before easing him into the truth about the magnitude of the crash and the deaths of his friends.

Scott’s saviour after his first operations and the strength he had built up with the support of his family and friends and his own steely determination to get better, was an internationally-renowned surgeon called Pedro Cavadas who is nicknamed Doctor Miracle in his native Spain.

The 55-year-old Valencian, whose world-pioneering interventions include the first-ever double leg transplant, agreed to help Scott after an infection in his left femur bone halted his recovery and left him facing a possible amputation.

Speaking today after being told Sanchez had decided to plead guilty and would probably do only another six months in prison, Scott said: “It’s nothing to celebrate as far as I’m concerned.

“When you break it all down it’s absolutely ridiculous and pathetic how the Spanish legal system works.

“I don’t think she’s suddenly had a change of heart and become compassionate about her crimes and the pain and suffering she’s caused by accepting her guilt and pleading guilty.

“All this is for is to avoid going through media scrutiny and facing the public eye.”

Speaking late last year the expat said: “It will be more than four years by the time this goes to trial and I just want to get it over with so I can put it behind me and get on with the rest of my life.

“It’s difficult but I’ve just had to accept I’ll never be the same old Scott again.

“I loved sport and I loved participating in triathlons, especially Ironman triathlons.

“My surgeries have finished and I’m back on a bike and swimming again.

“But what this woman did was cause a life-changing event which will stay with me for the rest of my days.

“My body is scarred, my knee doesn’t bend fully, I have a permanent limp and limited feeling on the left side of my leg and face among other problems.

“Running is out of the question because of my knee problems and all the plates and rods and screws I’ve got in my body, and I’ll never be able to compete again because of the unbearable pain I feel in my knee and ankle after I’ve been cycling for a while.

“I feel lucky to be alive and certainly luckier than the three friends who weren’t given a second chance but why should I be happy with that!

“It’s human to feel resentment towards the woman responsible for what she’s taken away from me.

“My lawyer’s tried to explain the Spanish court system to me but I can’t comprehend how someone can get off so lightly.

“I find it such a disgrace that four years is the maximum prison sentence for the pain and suffering she’s caused. It seems so lenient.”

Sanchez, full name Maria Vicenta Sanchez Vaquero, told police after the crash she had been out partying all night before taking her grandfather’s car and crossing over to the wrong side of the road.

Friends described her as a poor student who often skipped classes in her home town of Gandia near Oliva and flitted between shop and hotel jobs before moving on to bar work.

Her defence lawyer has claimed in the past police were the first to tell her what she had done because of her “state of shock” and offered condolences at the time in her and her family’s name to her victims’ loved ones.

Shortly after her release on bail following her year-long prison remand, she was pictured enjoying herself at a disco in a photo which caused widespread revulsion.

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