Dangerous driver who clocked more than 120mph before crashing and killing his friend jailed
31 Aug | 15:49

Thompson was under the influence of drink and drugs when he crashed his car - fatally injuring passenger Richard Jordan, 33

A dangerous driver who clocked more than 120mph before crashing and killing his friend has been jailed.
Mark Thompson (pictured left) was behind the wheel as he hurtled down the A19 near Houghton-le-Spring in the early hours of August 4, 2019.
After picking up two friends earlier in the night, the 42-year-old – who was over the prescribed limit for alcohol and drugs - headed down the southbound carriageway at excess speed.
But then he collided with the back of a black Vauxhall Corsa, sending his white Mercedes spinning in the air.
Sadly, back seat passenger and much-loved dad Richard Jordan, 33, of Grangetown in Sunderland suffered fatal injuries.
Appearing at Newcastle Crown Court today (Tuesday), driver Thompson – a friend and work colleague of Richard – pleaded guilty to causing the death of Richard by dangerous driving and causing serious injury to the other passenger by dangerous driving.
He was subsequently jailed for six years and eight months, with the judge taking into account Thompson’s guilty plea.
Sergeant Alan Keenleyside, the officer in charge of the case, said: “First and foremost, our thoughts remain with Richard’s family and friends.
"The last two years have been incredibly difficult for them and no outcome today in court could reverse the incidents of that night. 
"They have remained hugely supportive throughout the police investigation, and I would like to pay tribute to the way they have supported my team, which in turn has allowed me to embed them as part of my investigation.
“Any death on our roads is an absolute tragedy – but this is particularly poignant given that it was so avoidable.
“Mark Thompson’s actions behind the wheel were reckless and dangerous. He endangered the lives of many other road users as he pressed down the accelerator – with forensic collision investigators confirming he had reached speeds of not less than 121mph on a national speed limit road.
“Dashcam footage from the Corsa highlights the appalling state of his driving and his decisions have had the most tragic of consequences.
“Because of him, Richard's life has been tragically taken away and that void can never be replaced in his loved ones’ lives."
Sgt Keenleyside added: "I hope this case acts as a serious reminder to everybody – your decisions while behind the wheel could have irreversible consequences and ruin more than one life in an instant. 
"The laws that are in place are not optional and our roads are not racetracks.”
After police attended the scene of the crash, the driver of the Corsa said that Thompson came up behind him “at alarming speed” and soon lost control.
Richard was pronounced dead at the scene, and the front seat passenger was taken to Sunderland Royal Hospital with serious injuries.
Thompson, of Seaton Crescent, Seaham, now begins a custodial term.​
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