Somerset

Drink-driver Ryan Watson jailed over crash death

Ryan Watson
Image caption The court heard Watson had taken his father's sports car without his consent

A driver who was drunk and on drugs when he killed his friend in a car crash has been jailed for seven years.

Ryan Watson, 21, was twice the drink-drive limit and had taken ketamine when he crashed his father's Audi sports car, killing Damien Witcombe, also 21.

The crash happened in the village of Chilcompton, near Radstock, Somerset, on 10 May last year.

Taunton Crown Court heard Watson, of Woodside, Midsomer Norton, was driving at about 87mph when it happened.

Judge Graham Hume Jones also banned Watson, who had never passed his test, from driving for seven years and ordered him to take an extended driving test.

The court was told he had taken the car without his father's consent.

'Lying in road'

Prosecutor William Hunter said: "While driving at high speed the Audi left the road and collided with three parked cars and a boundary wall.

"The car went back across the road and collided with another wall and the car was left resting on its roof.

"Because of the force of the crash bricks from the wall were sent flying through the roof of a nearby house.

"Damien Witcombe was ejected from the vehicle and he was found lying on the road."

Mr Witcombe died in hospital the next day.

Casey Thatcher, who was travelling in the front passenger seat, survived the crash but both he and Watson were seriously injured.

No-one in the car was wearing a seatbelt, the court was told.

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