Telford drink-drive nurse jailed over friend's death
A nurse who crashed his car at high speed, killing a friend after he had been drinking at a wedding reception in Telford, has been jailed.
Timothy Salt, 24, was said to have been at least twice the drink-drive limit when he lost control of his car on a bend at Sutton Hill in March last year.
His front seat passenger, 22-year-old Joshua Jones, suffered "horrendous" injuries when the car struck a barrier and flew 30ft through the air before hitting an embankment.
Mr Jones, who was wearing a seat belt, died later in hospital. The defendant was treated for minor injuries.
At Shrewsbury Crown Court yesterday, Salt was jailed for three years and eight months having admitted causing death by careless driving while over the legal drink-drive limit.
Salt, who lives in Stanhoe Close in Brierley Hill and is a nurse at Russells Hall Hospital in Dudley, was also disqualified for three years and must take an extended driving test.
Judge Peter Barrie said it was clear Salt had driven with a complete disregard for safety.
He said that broadly speaking Salt was driving when twice the legal limit, at high speed and had lost control. "There was no attempt to brake and it was not far short of dangerous driving," he said.
Mr Howard Searle, prosecuting, said the incident happened on Sutton Way, Sutton Hill, less than a mile from Telford Golf and Spa Hotel where the two men had been attending a wedding reception on March 15 last year.
He said that Salt, who had been drinking lager, had told guests he had drunk half a bottle of vodka.
Salt and Mr Jones knew each other from school and around 9pm the defendant took Mr Jones out in his new Vauxhall Astra, a 2008 model described as Nurburgring Special with a 2000cc engine.
Mr Searle said witnesses who saw the car in Sutton Way estimated the speed at up to 100mph.
He said there was no scientific proof of the speed, but all other factors, the impact damage, the noise and where the car ended, indicated it was being driven "dangerously over the 30mph speed limit".
Three hours after the accident tests showed Salt had 67 milligrams of alcohol in his breath. The legal limit is 35.
Mr Searle said a blood test showed he was also over the limit and calculating back to the time of the crash, experts said there would have been between 140 and 225 millilitres of alcohol his blood. The legal limit is 80.
Mr Harry Bowyer, for Salt, said his client had shown "extreme remorse" and had to live with the guilt of killing a friend for the rest of his life.
He said Salt realised he had caused horrific grief for Mr Jones' relatives and while his life had changed forever, it was entirely his own fault.
Mr Bowyer said Salt had no criminal or motoring convictions and was a "good man who had been involved in a reckless act".
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