A Drunk Driver High On Cocaine Who Killed His Friend, 15, After Losing Control Of Car Is Jailed
A man who crashed into an oncoming car while drunk and high on cocaine killing his 15-year-old friend has been jailed.
20-year-old Brandon Jefferson-Howe got behind the wheel of his car on Saturday, July 30 while three times over the legal limit.
Connor Thompson, 15, was in the passenger seat when Jefferson-Howe "failed to negotiate an easy left-hand bend on a residential street" and crashed into another oncoming vehicle.
The 15-year-old boy was tragically killed in the collision and Jefferson-Howe refused to identify him to police, leaving his family to wonder if it was their child who had died for "the longest hours of their lives."
Teesside Crown Court was told how Jefferson-Howe may have been racing another car when the crash happened, but could not guarantee this for sure.
The judge said: "I am not able to conclude that you were in a race but that is just splitting hairs - you were clearly driving quickly another car driving quickly and perhaps encouraging each other to drive quickly."
Jefferson-Howe also had no driving licence at the time of the accident.
Kelly Thompson, Connor's mum, said: "As a family, we sat for hours waiting to find out if it was Connor, we knew it was him when he didn't walk into the house but we just couldn't accept it.
She added, "his sisters are totally devastated," and his father is "consumed with anger."
Brandon Jefferson-Howe, from Norton, pleaded guilty at Teesside Crown Court to causing death by dangerous driving, no insurance, and driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence.
He was sentenced to five years in prison and handed a seven-and-a-half-year driving ban.
The sentencing judge said: "This sentence that I impose does not, nor try to, measure the worth of Connor's life or the grieving of his loss, which will be long-lived because his life has been tragically cut short."
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