Drunk driver admits killing woman and dogs in Chelsea embankment crash

Olivia Riley  (Olivia Riley/Met Police)
Olivia Riley (Olivia Riley/Met Police)

An sportscar driver has admitted killing a woman as she walked her dogs along Chelsea Embankment when he was driving drunk and high on drugs.

Laszlo Dancs, 27, struck 41-year-old Olivia Riley with his Audi TT in a crash about 6.20am on May 14 last year.

Ms Riley, the stepdaughter of best-selling author Lucinda Riley, died at the scene of the collision, which happened on the Embankment close to Cheyne Walk in Chelsea.

Her family’s two golden labradors and a golden retriever also died in the Saturday morning crash.

Dancs, from Heathfield Road in Ealing, west London, appeared at the Old Bailey on Tuesday, pleading guilty to causing death by dangerous driving, driving while on drugs, and driving with excess alcohol in his system.

He had 128mg of Benzoylecgonine in his system – indicating suspected cocaine use – and he is also accused of having 137 milligrams of alcohol in a sample of blood, above the legal limit of 80 milligrams.

Dancs denied a further charge of failing to co-operate with a breath test at the roadside following the collision.

He was set free again on bail by Judge Philip Katz KC, and faces a possible prison term when he is sentenced on July 28.

In the wake of her death, Ms Riley’s uncle Mark Riley paid tribute to a “beautiful, fun-loving” woman who “just lit up the room for everybody”.

He revealed she had been mouring the loss of her stepmother, who she worked for as a literary assistant, following her death last year from cancer.

“Certainly the tributes that have been pouring in, they are all saying the same thing, that she was one in a million and nobody can come to terms with this tragedy, this loss. She saw the best in everyone and lived life to the full."

In the aftermath of the fatal crash, the Metropolitan Police appealed for dashcam footage and said a silver-grey Mercedes CLA had also been damaged.