"TO watch somebody's world fall apart – it never gets any easier," says a Motor Patrols sergeant tasked with investigating fatal collisions.

Sergeant Dave Roberts investigates fatal collisions on Northumbria's roads, and shone a light on the devastating human consequences of drink and drug driving.

READ MORE: 'One bad decision' can tear families apart: Police on drink-driving crackdown

Hexham Courant: Sgt Dave RobertsSgt Dave Roberts (Image: Northumbria Police)

He is one of Northumbria Police's experienced lead investigators who looks into collisions that resulted in serious or fatal injury.

Now into his 30th year of service, Sgt Roberts has seen it all as a police officer – and that experience is crucial when he has to inform families their loved ones have died or been injured on the region's roads.

Hexham Courant: Police carPolice car (Image: Northumbria Police)

After standing at eight post mortems in 2022 alone, the responsibility sits heavy on the shoulders of lead investigators like Sgt Roberts, who are supported by a team of specially-trained family liaison officers.

"Whenever a fatal or serious collision happens, I always make a promise to the person who has died or been injured," Sgt Roberts said. "I will uncover the truth of what's happened to the very best of my ability.

"I will forever remember every single fatality that I've dealt with – by name, by location. I can be driving around in my own car and remember a collision that has happened here, or a specific detail that has happened there. You live with them all and remember them in distinct detail.

"To watch somebody's world fall apart – it gets harder every time. To see the sparkle of life disappear from someone's eyes, it's tough.

"There is always a cause behind every collision. Always – there's never not. Whether it’s somebody being reckless around speed, having drank alcohol or taken drugs, or having been distracted.

"Sometimes it can be carelessness as oppose to intentionally dangerous, whether it’s braking too late when driving in ice and snow, not being aware of the conditions, or it can also be victim error."

Since November 20, Northumbria Police have supported a drink and drug drive campaign led by Road Safety GB NE aimed at promoting road safety throughout the World Cup and festive period.

Sgt Roberts and his colleagues have patrolled many of the region's busiest roads, pulling over vehicles and checking whether drivers have followed their advice.

More than 100 suspected drink drivers have so far been arrested in Northumbria's Force area alone over the last five weeks – with 60 detained in the first 12 days.