Drug driver Matthew Thomas jailed after crash kills friend

Published
Image source, Family handout
Image caption,
James Jennings died at the scene of the crash

A man has been jailed for causing death by dangerous driving after his friend was killed in a crash.

Police said Matthew Thomas, 21, from Westwoodside, was speeding when he hit a tree in Nottinghamshire, killing passenger James Jennings.

Mr Jennings, who was 28 and from Owston Ferry in North Lincolnshire, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Thomas, who had been taking cocaine, was jailed for eight years at Nottingham Crown Court on Wednesday.

He had pleaded guilty on 19 October to causing death by dangerous driving, causing serious injury by dangerous driving, supplying cocaine and supplying MDMA.

Mr Jennings's family said: "From the minute we received this terrible news our whole world has been turned upside down.

"We feel this pain every day and whilst we are relieved the sentencing has now taken place, nothing will bring James back or lessen our pain at losing him."

Image source, Nottinghamshire Police
Image caption,
Matthew Thomas was six times over the legal limit for benzoylecgonine

Another passenger, a 23-year-old man, also sustained serious injuries including a fractured back and hand.

Nottinghamshire Police said drug tests found Thomas, of Park Close, was six times over the legal limit for benzoylecgonine (a breakdown product of cocaine).

It happened in Stockwith Road in Walkeringham, Nottinghamshire, on 25 September 2019, when he tried overtaking a vehicle before losing control and hitting a tree.

Investigating officer Louise Melbourne said Thomas had showed a "blatant disregard" for the safety of himself, his friends and members of the public.

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