Duncan Lewis Solicitors

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A newly licensed teenager causes death of his two friends by driving dangerously

April 13th, 2012

A seventeen years old beginner who admitted causing deaths of two of his friends after he clipped the kerbs, drove over the roundabouts and sped at 85mph was jailed for five years at the Tesside Crown Court.

Arseng Rashid of Ingleby Barwick, Teesside, who was showing off in his mother’s car lost control after driving dangerously over two kerbs and two roundabouts which caused the Toyota Corolla Verso to overturn on the A66 in Stockton on September last.

He admitted two counts of death by dangerous driving after his 17 year old school mates Josh Hopkins and Joshua Stevenson, who were trapped in the car died in the crash.

Two other friends, who had been driven around Teesside for hours before the smash some time before 6am, were also injured and have lasting mental scars, Teesside crown court heard.

Some 20 minutes before the fatal crash, he overtook a furious taxi driver at 85-90mph in a 30mph zone, Christine Egerton, prosecuting, said.

Few minutes later, he was caught on a CCTV camera driving the 2.2-litre diesel on the wrong side of the road at 68mph in Yarm Road, where the speed limit was 30mph.

Rashid had passed his driving test only 10 weeks before he killed his friends.
The teenagers except Rashid, the prosecution accepted, had earlier stopped to smoke cannabis, the court heard. The teenager also later passed a roadside breath test.

The friends were on their way to a McDonalds at Teesside Park, via the A66, when Rashid went straight over two mini roundabouts.
One of the surviving teenagers later told police Rashid had said that should he go straight over or round?”

The car clipped two kerbs, and as Rashid lost control it flipped over. There was no evidence of any braking.

Hopkins, in the front passenger seat, and Stevenson, sitting behind him, were both unconscious but alive after the smash. They died at the scene.

Judge Peter Fox, the recorder of Middlesbrough, said Rashid had deliberately and intentionally driven dangerously.

He told the defendant that he affected the lives of many.

Rashid was sentenced to five years, starting in a young offender institution, and was banned from driving for five years, after which he must take an extended test.