Driver who killed best friends from Sheffield was overtaking on a blind bend at 90mph
A driver who killed two friends from Sheffield when overtaking on a blind bend at 90mph has been jailed for eight years.
Daniel Young, 25, hit Margaret Collier and Caroline Ball, both from Beighton, so hard that the Vauxhall Corsa they were travelling in was shunted back 30 metres into hedge.
Both women, travelling to a cleaning job in Chesterfield together at the time, died at the scene on the A6135 in Renishaw, Derbyshire, on October 7 last year between 5.30am and 6am.
Derby Crown Court heard Young was captured on a camera approaching the village in the minutes leading up to the crash driving at between 115mph and 141mph.
While moments later, having entered the village where the speed limit dropped from 40mph to 30mph, his speed was recorded as between 68mph and 87mph.
Margaret, who had two children and was a doting grandmother, was described by her family as the ‘kindest, most loving woman on Earth’.
Caroline, her best friend with whom she used to do everything, was remembered as ‘very funny and very loving’.
Laura Pitman, prosecuting, described how Young was driving home in his BMW 5 Series from a night shift at Amazon in Barlborough at the time of the crash.
While Caroline, 63, and Margaret, 59, were on their way to a cleaning job they both worked at close to the M1 near Chesterfield – and were due there at 6am.
Ms Pitman said as Young sped through Renishaw to its western side he encountered a convoy of cars trapped behind a slow moving vehicle.
However “reckless” Young overtook the all of the vehicles approaching a blind bend on the wrong side of the road as Caroline Ball approached driving her Corsa.
She said: “His car negotiated that bend at 90mph – at the same time as he was negotiating that manoeuvre on the blind bend the vehicle being driven by Caroline Ball was driving in the opposite direction.
"She would have had no way to react or brake before the two vehicles collided.
"Both women’s injuries were such that they proved fatal and they were both pronounced dead at the scene.”
A gallery inside the court packed with the two women’s family and friends heard Young tested positive for cocaine during a police drug swab at the scene.
Later in hospital a blood sample showed he was also twice over the limit for cannabis.
During a police interview he claimed Caroline Ball had been speeding when he encountered her Vauxhall Corsa – and that his speed “had not exceeded the law”.
Shockingly, Young’s driving licence had only been returned to him four months previously after a ban following repeated driving offences including speeding.
While a video recovered from Young’s phone called “how to beat speed cameras” – from August – showed him filming himself while rocketing at 80mph on a 30mph road.
In the video, “laughing” Young could be seen on the wrong side of the road – thereby avoiding being captured as he passed a speed camera.
Young, appearing via prison video link from HMP Lincoln, wept with his head down as he heard impact statements from members of both women’s families.
Margaret Collier’s daughter Cheslea Siddall cried as she told the court how she lost her father aged 11 and she had now lost her mum and “best friend”.
She said: “My mum taught me everything except how to live without her – I’ll never get over the loss of my mum.
"I’ll never be whole again and nor do I want to be.”
While the court heard in a statement from Caroline Ball’s partner of 29 years, David Hague. that he was so shocked when police arrived to deliver the bad news that “I couldn’t believe what police were saying”.
Mr Hague’s son Elliott Hague described seeing his father walk towards him at their Beighton home shouting “your mum, your mum”.
Raymond Collier, Margaret Collier’s husband, wept as he told the court: “Margaret was my world and we did everything together.”
In a letter which Judge Shaun Smith QC read to the court defendant Young wrote: “Not a day goes by that I am not haunted by that day.
"I need to write the letter to express how deeply sorry I am for the pain and grief I have caused – I struggle on a daily basis to come to terms with it.
"I struggle to sleep and when I do I have nightmares – I am so sorry and full of regret and remorse. I am eternally sorry for what I have done.”
Judge Shaun Smith QC, jailing Young for eight years, told the defendant he had a “propensity for speeding” – demonstrated by the “reckless” video he had recorded.
He also noted that Young also tried to lay the blame for the terrible crash with others.
Judge Smith told him: “I accept you are truly remorseful for what you did – however you are not the victim.
"Caroline Ball and Margaret Collier and their families are the victims.”
Young, of Drury Lane, Coal Aston, admitted two counts of causing death by dangerous driving.
As well as being jailed he was also banned from driving for 10 years.