An uninsured driver who killed his own brother and a girl he was trying to impress when he crashed his car into a tree has been sentenced to six years in prison.
Jordan White, 20, had no licence and was over the legal cannabis limit when he crossed double white lines on a hill to overtake an Audi, spun out of control and crashed into a hedge before backing into a tree on Toddington Road, near Tebworth, Bedfordshire at around 3pm on 18 January this year.
White fled the scene of his crashed black Corsa, leaving his former girlfriend Ellie Ogden-Cooper, 19, and his brother Reece White, 23, dead at the scene.
Reece’s body was found in the back seat while Ellie was thrown from the car into a field, where she later died.
The front seat passenger, a 21-year-old man and another rear seat passenger, a 16 year old boy, suffered serious injuries.
White had paid just £400 for the Corsa, which had cloned number plates on it and would have failed an MOT. Its airbags did not deploy and it was considered to be ‘unroadworthy’.
White, of Wallis Drive, Leighton Buzzard, appeared for sentence at St Albans Crown Court having pleaded guilty to two charges of causing death by dangerous driving and two of causing serious injury by dangerous driving.
Uninsured driver Jordan White, 20 (pictured), who killed his own brother and a girl he was trying to impress when he crashed his car into a tree near Tebworth, Bedfordshire, has been sentenced to six years in prison
The 20-year-old had picked Ellie up from Flitwick, and his front seat passenger said he was ‘driving like a p****’ to impress her.
He added that they had been smoking cannabis all day and White had been ‘showing off’.
White only had a provisional licence and none of the others had a full licence to supervise him.
A woman in a Freelander coming in the opposite direction had to brake as she saw the Corsa overtaking the Audi at speed across a double white line on the hill.
Another driver behind her said White looked ‘genuinely scared’ as he tried to control the Corsa. She said it swerved to try to get back in front of the Audi, but spun and crashed. She went to help and noticed a strong smell of ‘weed.’
The Audi driver Steven Arnold said: ‘The car was shifting when it overtook me. He started to lose control. I could see it swaying across the road.’
He went on: ‘I think it spun and went up in the air. It almost seemed to jump and went down the verge on the opposite side of road. Bits of the car were falling off.’
Mr Arnold and another driver Stephen Hewitt, who stopped and tried to help Reece White in the car, are to receive a High Sheriff’s award of £500.
Jordan White, 20, had no licence and was over the legal cannabis limit crashed into a hedge before backing into a tree on Toddington Road, near Tebworth, Bedfordshire at around 3pm on 18 January this year. White fled the scene of his crashed black Corsa, leaving his former girlfriend Ellie Ogden-Cooper, 19 (pictured, and his brother Reece White, 23, dead at the scene
White and the two surviving passengers fled. The 16 year old boy was arrested nearby. Sniffer dogs were deployed and White and the front seat passenger were found hiding in a shed at ten to five that evening.
White, who had suffered multiple fractures, made a callous claim that his 23-year-old brother Reece, who he caused to die by his dangerous driving, had actually been the driver and not himself.
A blood sample taken from White gave a reading of 2.6mg for cannabis – the legal limit being 2.
Prosecutor Stefan Weidmann said: ‘This defendant was driving a car with 4 other people in it. It overtook another car at speed, crossing double white lines on the crest of a hill. It was an appalling piece of driving.
‘Warnings about his driving had been disregarded. He ran from his friends and his brother, leaving others to help.’
Defending, Darryl Cherrett said White had been in care since the age of 12, is immature and possibly has ADHD.
He said: ‘He has to live with what he did that day. He expressed genuine remorse for the pain he has caused to Ellie’s family and his own.’
Jailing him, Judge Michael Kay QC said: ‘I am satisfied at times you were driving too fast and showing off.
‘You overtook a car on the brow of a hill. You had no real view of what was coming.
‘Having no real instruction or experience of driving you panicked and over steered and lost control.’
The judge went on to say that others stopped to help but he had fled in a ‘cowardly fashion.’
He said: ‘In a callous and utterly despicable way you sought to blame your own deceased brother for what occurred. It is almost beyond comprehension that you sought to apportion blame to him to save your own skin.’
White, who had suffered multiple fractures, made a callous claim that his 23-year-old brother Reece (pictured), who he caused to die by his dangerous driving, had actually been the driver and not himself
Ellie’s mother said her daughter, who worked as a carer, had everything to look forward to. She said: ‘As a family we will never get over losing our beautiful Ellie. We are in pieces. Our precious memories are all that we have.’
Reece’s family said: ‘We are devastated at the loss of Reece. He was a much-loved son, brother and grandson.
‘He made an impression on everyone he met and leaves a hole in the family that will never be filled. He will be missed forever.’
The judge banned White from driving for 9 years and sentenced him to six years in prison.
Commending the two men who went to help, Judge Michael Kay QC said: ‘These two gentlemen became involved and sought to save the life of Reece White. In some small way that ought to be marked.’
He said they will each receive a High Sheriff award of £500.
Speaking to White before he began his six-year sentence, the Judge concluded: ‘You will spend a considerable period of time in custody and you will reflect on what you have done. If you have an ounce of decency, you will change your life.’