Essex

David Jones: Essex drug-driver Marcus Wood jailed after fleeing fatal crash

David Jones Image copyright Essex Police
Image caption David Jones was killed in the car crash last October

A drug driver who fled a crash in which a "superhero" father-of-four died has been jailed.

Marcus Wood, 21, was seen smoking cannabis on the night his BMW veered into the path of the Ford Fiesta being driven by 39-year-old David Jones.

He was jailed for five years and three months for causing death by careless driving while impaired by drugs.

Mr Jones' death on 10 October in Essex had "ripped apart" his close family, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

Wood, of The Street, Terling, was also sentenced to six months to run consecutively for escaping lawful custody.

Image copyright Essex Police
Image caption Marcus Wood said he felt "sorrow" for David Jones' family

He was driving with friends near Wickham Bishops at 23:00 BST when he lost control and collided with Mr Jones' car, causing him "catastrophic injuries", said prosecutor Peter Gair.

Wood then fled and minutes later called police to report his car stolen.

When police traced him to his home he initially agreed to go with them for questioning, before running from officers.

He was found hiding in a garage half an hour later after a search involving the police helicopter and dog teams.

A sample showed the cannabis in Wood's blood was four times the legal limit, though he claimed he smoked cannabis after the crash.

The court heard Mr Jones, a welder from Southminster, was "a family man" who spent his days off driving a minibus for vulnerable people at a care home.

His partner Vicki called him "my best friend, my rock, my everything", adding: "Our close-knit family has been ripped apart and will never be the same again."

His mother Diane, who addressed the court with a photograph of her son on the stand, said he was "a superhero" to his children who designed a Marvel-themed coffin for him.

Wood said his actions were "life-changing for everyone involved", adding: "I feel such sorrow for the family."

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