York & North Yorkshire

'Racing' driver jailed over Busby Stoop road crash deaths

Ridley (l) and Corser (r) Image copyright North Yorkshire Police
Image caption Ridley (l) and Corser (r) had been racing each other in separate cars when Ridley crashed into a third vehicle

A man who knew his car's brakes were faulty when he killed two teenagers in a crash as he raced another vehicle has been jailed for 11 years.

Luke Ridley, 24, of Topcliffe Road, Sowerby, was "racing competitively" when he crashed on the A61 near Thirsk, North Yorkshire, in March 2018.

His passengers, both 17, George Turner and Mason Pearson died in the crash.

William Corser, 18, of St Mary's Walk, Thirsk, who was driving the car Ridley was racing, was also jailed.

Teesside Crown Court heard the crash happened between Busby Stoop and Carlton Miniott, on 7 March.

Prosecutor Paul Newcombe said Ridley had started the race with Corser after they met at the Mill Gate car park in Thirsk.

They were racing to see who could get to Leeming Bar first and were driving at "grossly excessive speeds" of up to 80mph, he said.

Ridley's VW Bora slid on to the wrong side of the road hitting a Ford Focus.

George and Mason died at the scene and 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 but later recovered.

Image copyright North Yorkshire Police
Image caption George Turner (l) and Mason Pearson (r) both died at the scene of the crash

The driver and passengers of the Ford, a 27-year-old man and a 24-year-old woman and their two young children, were also taken to hospital for treatment before being discharged.

Ridley had only held a licence for two days at the time of the crash and was aware his car, purchased a month before, was in a dangerous state, the court heard.

It had no near-side front brake and the traction control was faulty.

Ridley admitted two counts of causing death by dangerous driving and five counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving at an earlier hearing.

Corser also admitted one count of dangerous driving and was given a 16-month jail term.

Speaking after sentencing Insp Jeremy Bartley, of North Yorkshire Police, said the "dangerous driving" of both men had devastated families in a "space of a few seconds".

He said: "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."

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