100mph crash a warning to young drivers
YOUNG people in Llanelli are being urged to heed the potentially catastrophic consequences of dangerous driving — after a former Coleg Sir Gar student was jailed.
Ashley Morris powered his Renault Twingo along a road exceeding 100mph then smashed into a lorry.
His passengers — other Coleg Sir Gar students who Morris had been showing off to — suffered serious injuries in the crash.
And last week Morris, of Ynyslas, Cefncaeau, was sentenced to nine months in prison and was banned from driving for four years. After the hearing, a Coleg Sir Gar spokeswoman said: "We hope current students will learn from this sad experience and note the very serious consequences and injuries arising from this case."
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Morris admitted dangerous driving before Swansea Crown Court, which heard that the 22-year-old had been begged to slow down by passenger James Jeffries when the car's speedometer hit 104mph.
Mr Jeffries suffered serious mental and medical injuries in the smash, which included a torn large intestine — a substantial part of which had to be removed. Another passenger, John Fitzgerald, had his leg broken and was committed to hospital for two weeks with a blood clot on his lung.
Rhys Maides, who was in the front passenger seat, walked away with cuts and bruises. Morris had told his friends that he was taking them to the shops for lunch, the court heard. But instead, he carried on down Trimsaran Road hitting 100mph — mocking his passengers' concern for their safety. As the car careered round a corner of a single track road it encountered an HGV lorry headed in the opposite direction.
The court heard that lorry driver William Charles had slammed on his brakes as the car came into view — bringing the lorry to a stop before the crash.
It was also said that after the crash Morris had urged his friends to tell police that he was driving at 30mph to 40mph
The Coleg Sir Gar spokeswoman said: "As a college we make every effort to educate our young learners of their social responsibilities. We work very closely with the emergency services to promote safe driving behaviour and deliver awareness raising sessions as part of our tutorial programme."
Morris, who was working as a welder, suffered a broken wrist, and a fractured ankle and kneecap in the crash.
In court Recorder Hopkins berated the defendant. He said: "It frankly beggars belief that you completed driving as such maniacal speeds.
"Your first instinct, having been involved in this catastrophic head-on collision, was not to inquire of the welfare and state of health of you friends, but effectively you instinct was to cover your own back."
Coleg Sir Gar added that police and fire service personnel were regularly invited on campus to deliver safety sessions and that it had also worked with visiting theatre companies delivering productions that highlight the risks of dangerous driving.