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Man jailed for Shifnal crash that caused friend's death

By Deborah Hardiman | Crime | Published:

A motorist at the wheel of a van that crashed resulting in the death of his friend in Shifnal has been jailed for almost six years.

Luke Wright

Luke Wright, 29, was also banned from driving for causing the death by dangerous driving of Junior Jeff Martin.

The 23-year-old died after Wright's van veered off the carriageway, struck a tree and overturned in Woodgreen Road, off the A5 at Redhill, in the early hours of May 19.

Shrewsbury Crown Court heard that Wright and Mr Martin, also known as 'JJ', had spent the previous evening with friends in Telford when the collision happened near Woodgreen Farm at about 1am.

They were travelling in the Renault van along with friends Samantha Hill, 34, and Christopher Robinson, 28, when it left the 50mph road.

The court heard that there were not enough seatbelts for the passengers; Mr Martin, from Randlay, Mr Robinson and Miss Hill.

Wright, from Ashford, Middlesex, fled after the crash. Miss Hill and Mr Robinson, who both had suffered injuries, helped Mr Martin, who died at the scene despite the efforts of the emergency services to save him.

'Serious lack of judgement'

Sentencing Wright, Judge Peter Barrie said: "There is no one sentence that we can impose that can bring Junior Jeff Martin back to life or compensate for the harm that you have caused in the way that you drove on May 19.

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"It is clear from the evidence that you spent that day in the company of your friends. Some of them were passengers and made the point that you were both drunk and took cocaine – even as you were driving the vehicle."

In a letter to the court read aloud by mitigating barrister Mr Curtis Myrie, Wright said he was "remorseful" and apologised for his "serious lack of judgement".

He had admitted the offences at an earlier hearing.

Wright was jailed for five years and six months for causing death by dangerous driving, there was no separate penalty failing to stop after an accident. He must serve half the term before being released on licence. He was also banned from the road for three years following the end of the prison term and must take the extended driving test.

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Several members of Mr Martin's family were in court to see Wright being sentenced.

In her victim impact statement his mother Michelle Martin stated that she visited the crash site every weekend and said a prayer for her son every night .

"My life will never be the same," she stated.

Deborah Hardiman

By Deborah Hardiman
@Deborahh_Star

Senior reporter for the Shropshire Star based out of the head office in Ketley. Covering the Telford area.

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