Stoke & Staffordshire

Drunk driver James Tatton jailed for killing friends

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Image caption The two friends died on the southbound carriageway of the A500 at Cliffe Vale on 22 August

A drunk driver who killed his two friends when he hit a lorry has been jailed for eight years.

James Tatton reached speeds estimated at between 112mph and 126mph in a 50mph zone before the crash on the A500 in Stoke-on-Trent, police said.

Sean Longstaff, 22, from Stoke-on-Trent and Marcus Smith, 22, from Stone, were pronounced dead at the scene of the crash last August.

Tatton, 24, admitted causing their deaths in July.

He had drunk alcohol and taken drugs before the crash and was warned by friends not drive, Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court heard.

'Reckless actions'

The two victims were passengers in the car which collided with a heavy goods vehicle on the southbound carriageway at Cliffe Vale.

Sgt Ian Tanner, from Staffordshire Police said: "Tatton was driving whilst affected by drink, drugs and was travelling at excessive speed.

"His reckless actions caused the deaths of his friends Marcus and Sean and destroyed their families. Sadly this was the most tragic outcome possible to this incident."

Tatton, of Marlow Road, Stoke-on-Trent, was also banned from driving for nine years.

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