Dad’s fury as drug-driver who put him in coma and killed 3 pals could walk free
Mangled metal litters the road in a shocking image which only begins to convey the full horror of a road smash that shattered so many lives.
Out of picture, three men lay dead, or dying.
Two others, including British ex-pat Scott Gordon, 49, were maimed.
Six hundred yards away, the driver whose car ploughed into six cyclists on a Sunday morning ride was slumped by the side of her Ford Mondeo. Head down, her arms and hands dripped with blood.
Mavi Sanchez, 31, was reportedly nearly four times the drink-drive limit and had allegedly taken cocaine.
But now, three-and-a-half years on, Scott has learned Sanchez may walk free when she finally faces court next May.
And that, after enduring 17 operations and a rollercoaster of physical and mental toil, is hard to take.
Sanchez faces a maximum four years in jail if found guilty of triple man-slaughter but has already spent a year on remand – and her lawyers will argue that she should not be sent back behind bars.
Aberdeen-born oil worker Scott, who moved from Scotland to Spain in 2013, said: “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. I hope obviously she gets the maximum penalty.
“Whatever punishment this woman ends up getting is not going to change the fact she’s killed three people and ruined the lives of two others.
“What this woman did was cause a life-changing event which will stay with me for the rest of my days. I feel resentment towards her for what she’s taken away from me. It’s human. I want to look her in the eye in court.”
Scott’s world changed on May 17, 2017 as he and fellow triathletes from a club in Javea navigated the N-322 road near the Costa Blanca town of Oliva.
Waitress Sanchez, who had previously been banned from driving for eight months after failing a breath test in 2013, had been out partying all night.
Sanchez, full name Maria Vicenta Sanchez Vaquero, was using her grandfather’s car when it veered to the wrong side of the road.
Friends described her as a poor student who often skipped classes and flitted between shop and hotel jobs.
Sanchez and her family offered condolences to the victims’ loved ones at the time.
But shortly after being released on bail following her year-long prison remand, she was pictured enjoying herself at a disco in a photo which caused widespread revulsion.
At that point, Scott was facing a long and arduous recovery.
He barely had a pulse when help arrived and remembers nothing about the crash.
Scott needed a full blood transfusion and was in an induced coma for 19 days.
He had a broken jaw, broken femur and tibia bones in both legs, a broken right arm and a collapsed lung. After initial operations, Scott had an infection in his left femur and faced a possible amputation.
His saviour was renowned surgeon Pedro Cavadas, dubbed Doctor Miracle, whose pioneering interventions include the first-ever double leg transplant.
Scott went to him after two bone grafts failed and his left leg ended up six inches shorter than the right – where medics had taken away poisoned bone.
Dr Cavadas’ first op lasted 12 hours and involved removing a bone from Scott’s right leg so it could be implanted into his left.
More procedures would follow. His 17th and last op – on February 20 this year – was the result of an accidental fall in the shower when he broke his troublesome left leg again.
Scott, who moved to Spain with wife Corinne and daughters Ruby, 14, and Evie, 13, said: “It will be more than four years by the time this goes to trial and I just want to put it behind me.
“It’s difficult but I’ve had to accept I’ll never be the same again. I loved sport and loved participating in triathlons.
“My surgeries have finished and I’m back on a bike. 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.
“Running is out of the question because of my knee problems and the metal I’ve got in my body. 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?
“The first time I went on a bike was after my last op. It was such a mixed bag of emotions. Memories flooded back and I started crying. I’ve suffered psychologically and physically.”
One of the two men who died instantly, 28-year-old Eduardo Monfort, was the son of a former mayor of Javea. Jose Antonio Albi, also 28, died in hospital five days later.
Andres Contreras was also critically injured and lost his 53-year-old dad Luis Alberto in the crash.
He said: “No one will return my father and friends to me or remove the pain Scott and I will suffer for life. But the law should guarantee the public’s safety and not support those who commit mistakes.
“I will go to the trial. I want to witness the woman who killed my father answer questions to see whether she appreciates the damage she’s done.”
Oscar Anton, Scott’s lawyer, said: “The maximum sentence is four years but the Spanish penal system is rights-based and many factors are taken into account.
“Her lawyer can argue there’s been undue delay with the judicial investigation. He’ll focus on the fact victims have received compensation and his client is working, which he’ll present as a reinsertion into society.
“The court also has reports saying the driver would be damaged by a prison return.
“It pales into insignificance in terms of the victims’ suffering but carries weight in the Spanish system and can lead to a sentence reduction.
“Scott is aware there is a possibility this woman may not return to prison or only have to do a few more months behind bars.”