A 24-year-old man has been sentenced today to 11 years' imprisonment for causing the death by dangerous driving of two 17-year-olds in a collision in Busby Stoop, North Yorkshire last year.
An 18-year-old man has also been jailed for 16 months in connection with the same incident.
17-year-olds George Thomas Turner and Mason Pearson died after the Volkswagen Bora that they were travelling in collided with a Ford Focus on 7 March 2018 on the A61 between Busby Stoop and Carlton Miniott in North Yorkshire.
Another two passengers in the Bora, an 18-year-old man and a 17-year-old boy, were taken to hospital in a critical condition and were discharged sometime later with life changing injuries.
The driver and passengers of the Ford Focus, a 27-year-old man and a 24-year-old woman from outside the area were also taken to hospital and released following treatment. Their three-year-old daughter and a six-month old son were kept in hospital for observation before being discharged.
The driver of the Bora, 24 year-old Luke Ridley from Thirsk (pictured left) pleaded not guilty at an earlier hearing to two counts of causing death by dangerous driving and five counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving.
At the start of the scheduled trial on Monday 8 July, he changed his plea to guilty on all counts and was sentenced at Teesside Crown Court on Tuesday 30 July 2019, [any other conditions].
18 year-old William James Corser (pictured right), of Thirsk, the teenage driver of another vehicle that was not involved in the collision, but driving in company with the Bora, also pleaded not guilty to one count of dangerous driving at an earlier hearing before changing his plea to guilty at the start of the trial. He was also sentenced today, at Teesside Crown Court.
The collision happened at around 9.25pm on the night of 7 March 2018 which led to the arrest of Luke Ridley the following day and William Corser at a later date.
The investigation team reviewed hours of CCTV and dash-cam footage and carried out a police reconstruction of the journey in the Vauxhall Corsa to pull together a picture of the movements that night.
A group had gathered in Millgate Carpark in the centre of Thirsk with three cars amongst them – Mr Ridley’s VW Bora, Mr Corser’s Vauxhall Corsa and a Ford Fiesta.
CCTV and dash-cam footage obtained show the three cars left the carpark about 9.18pm in convoy, with the Corsa leading the way throughout the journey, followed in close proximity by the Bora and the Fiesta at the back.
The footage also showed an ever-increasing gap with the Fiesta, which had an RAC black box to monitor the speed limit and driving standard for insurance purposes, and was some distance out of sight by the time the collision occurred.
Data obtained from the Fiesta indicated that it had kept to the speed limit and showed nothing to suggest that the driver of the Fiesta was driving dangerously.
A police reconstruction in the Vaxhall Corsa, showed the Bora and Corsa had been travelling in excess of the speed limits leading up to the collision in order to travel nearly half a minute faster than a police advanced driver could by applying maximum acceleration or de-acceleration to keep to the speed limits.
Following, a vehicle examination, Mr Ridley’s car was also found to be in a dangerous condition with a number of defects including defective brakes.
North Yorkshire Police has now released the dash-cam and CCTV footage which shows evidence of the Bora and Corsa in close proximity to each other leading up to the collision and the Ford Fiesta dropping further back each time.
Following sentencing, senior investigating officer, Road Policing Strategic Development Inspector Jeremy Bartley of North Yorkshire Police, thanked the members of public, motorists and local businesses who supplied officers with CCTV evidence, dash-cam footage and witness statements that helped build the case.
He said: “The dangerous driving by both Ridley and Corser has cost the lives of two young men and devastated their families in the space of a few seconds.
“Thanks to the number of witnesses that came forward, and the support from both residents and businesses in the area, we were able secure a mountain of evidence.
“We reviewed hours of CCTV and dash-cam footage and painstakingly built up a picture of exactly what happened that night, despite the initial claims of those involved denying any wrongdoing which extended the heartache of the families and victims even further.
“I hope the sentence handed down by the court sends a stark warning to anyone who takes irresponsible and dangerous risks on the roads, either by their actions or due to the dangerous condition of their vehicle – it is simply not worth it.
“Although both Ridley and Corser now have to face up to their actions and justice has been delivered for George and Mason, no sentence can compensate for the loss of their young lives, and the distress caused to their heartbroken families and friends.”