A Weoley Castle man was today jailed for 9 years following an horrific crash which led to the deaths of his three friends.
Ben Thomas, of Princethorpe Road, Weoley Castle, was twice the alcohol limit when the car he was driving collided with a tree in Bristol Road, Selly Oak close to Pebble Mill in the early hours of Sunday 21st October last year. Blood tests also revealed traces of cocaine in his system. Collision investigators concluded that the ‘slowing speed’ of Thomas’ MG ZR was 73mph at the time it hit the tree and that driving conditions were damp and foggy.
Two of the passengers in the car died instantly in the high speed collision: Thomas’ friend James MacDonald and cousin James Wassell, both aged 24.
Thomas’s cousin David Wassell, 26, brother to James, suffered critical injuries and died in Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham the following day.
PC Damian Gibson said: “This case highlights the deadly combination of drink, drugs, excess speed and hazardous driving conditions.
“The crash happened on a damp road in thick fog and as well as being twice the alcohol limit, traces of cocaine were found in Thomas’ system.
“He had complete disregard for his own safety as well as the welfare of his friends, which has resulted in the needless loss of three young lives.”
Thomas was also handed a 10 year driving ban when he was sentenced at Birmingham Crown Court today.
If you witness or suspect that someone is driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, contact police on 101 or dial 999 in an emergency.
Information can also be passed anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers by calling 0800 555 111.
For further advice on drink driving click here.