Man who caused death of two teenagers in horror crash near Thirsk jailed for 11 years

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A man who caused the deaths of two teenagers after driving at 'grossly excessive speeds' while racing another car has been jailed.

Luke Ridley, 24, clocked speeds of up to 80mph while behind the wheel of a Volkswagen Bora between Busby Stoop and Carlton Miniott, North Yorkshire, on March 7, 2018.

Luke Ridley was jailed for 11-and-a-half years.

Luke Ridley was jailed for 11-and-a-half years.

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He then slid on to the wrong side of the A61 before hitting a Ford Focus which left a family, including a three-year-old girl and six-month-old boy, in hospital.

George Turner and Mason Pearson, both 17, who were both passengers in the VW Bora, died at the scene.

A group had gathered in Millgate Carpark in the centre of Thirsk with three cars among them - Mr Ridley’s VW Bora, a Ford Fiesta and William Corser’s Vauxhall Corsa.

Prosecutor Paul Newcombe said Ridley, of Thirsk, then began 'racing competitively' with Corser.

William Corser was jailed for 16 months.

William Corser was jailed for 16 months.

Ridley had only held a licence for two days at the time of the crash.

He was aware his car, purchased a month before, was in a dangerous state as it had no near-side front brake and the traction control was faulty.

Ridley changed his plea to guilty on two counts of causing death by dangerous driving and five counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving at the start of a scheduled trial on Monday, July 8.

He was jailed for 11 years and six months at Teesside Crown Court on Tuesday.

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Corser, of Thirsk, also changed to his plea to guilty of one count of dangerous driving at the start of the trial and was sentenced to 16 months in jail.

CCTV and dash-cam footage, released by North Yorkshire Police, shows the three cars leaving in convoy, with the Corsa leading the way throughout the journey, followed closely by the Bora, and the Fiesta at the back.

The footage shows 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 happened.

Ridley and Corser were racing to see who could get to Leeming Bar first and drove at 'grossly excessive speeds' of up to 80mph.

Mr Turner and Mr Pearson died at the scene after the Volkswagen Bora that they were travelling in collided with the Ford Focus.

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.

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Their three-year-old daughter and a six-month-old son were kept in hospital for observation before being discharged.

Ridley was banned from driving for 11-and-half-years. He will have to take an extended driving test if he wants to drive again.

Corser was banned from driving for three years and eight months and must also take an extended driving test.

Senior investigating officer, Road Policing Strategic Development Inspector Jeremy Bartley of North Yorkshire Police, 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.

“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.”