Weoley Castle man jailed for 9 years after horrific crash killed his 3 passengers

Driver Ben Thomas
Driver Ben Thomas

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.


  1. tragic and uneessary loss of life.So many families greiving. Ruined his young life too.
    Very very sad case t!

    I do wonder about our laws though…had he killed them at home or in the high street he would have got life.As he was in a car and killed them he gets 9yrs. Something not right with our legal system that seems to value life differently. i always joke with my partner if you wnat to kill me for the insurance money run me over (12mths) dont stab me (20yrs).

  2. This was not red blooded murder in which he would of got life. If he was in a state he would not of known what he was doing.

    Unfortunately the loss of his friends and family is also a factor he has to live with daily and also upon release he may possibly have back lash from people, friends and family as some people never get over the loss.

    Looking at his picture he looks sorry and scared.

    In reality the other 3 boys had probably been doing drugs and drinking but they still got in the car.

    I drive past the accident place regularly and see flowers and football tops. My heart goes out to these families and also to Ben as the closer his release date gets, the more he will dread it due to the fact their are some people who will be lovely to him and simply others who won’t.

    Ben will need to restart his life and will need the help and support of all his friends and family


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