Double tragedy for Darwen girl as brother is jailed for killing her boyfriend (From Lancashire Telegraph)
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Double tragedy for Darwen girl as brother is jailed for killing her boyfriend
A DRUNK driver who killed his best friend and seriously injured six others in a horror car crash has been jailed for more than five years.
Jason Kenealy, who died of multiple injuries shortly after the accident, was said to be ‘like a brother’ to driver Carl Yates.
After his sentencing yesterday, Yates’s sister Emily, who dated Jason for 11 years, said both families had been devastated over what had happened.
She said: “It is like we have lost Carl now too.”
Yates’s girlfriend Sarah Smith, who gave birth to their first child on July 13, said: “They were like brothers and did everything together, we were like a little family.
“Since the accident I have seen Carl change. He is lost without Jay, we all are really.
“He was such a massive part of our lives, and seeing Carl miss Jay so much is heartbreaking.”
Yates, 25, of Baron Street, Darwen, was almost three times over the legal drink-drive limit when he drove his red Corsa VX into the path of an oncoming Toyota Corolla Verso, carrying a family-of-five in Chorley Old Road, Bolton.
Mr Kenealy, 32, was a front seat passenger in the Corsa, which was thought to be travelling in excess of 50mph.
Bolton Crown Court heard his side of the vehicle took most of the impact of the collision, which happened on the evening of Saturday, June 25 2011.
The Corsa burst into flames and Yates and his passengers Mr Kenealy and 22-year-old Shaun Corran, both from Darwen, were pulled from the wreckage by passing motorist Kevin Willis, just moments before it exploded.
Mr Corran suffered brain injuries and Yates needed treatment for a broken ankle. None of the occupants of the Corsa had been wearing seatbelts.
Forty-one-year-old Tracy Crompton, who was a passenger in the Toyota, suffered severe cuts on her leg, a broken collarbone, and needed part of her bowel removing.
Her six-year-old son, also in the Toyota, needed hospital treatment for a bruised lung.
The court heard that after the crash, Yates had 190mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood when the legal limit was 80mg.
There was also evidence of cocaine use in his blood, but Judge Timothy Clayson said this could not be taken into account owing to a lack of expert evidence.
Yates, who admitted death by careless driving whilst under the influence of alcohol was sentenced to five years and four months imprisonment, and disqualified from driving for six years.
Defence lawyer Andrew Alty said: “It is tragedy upon tragedy for the sister of Carl Yates. It exacerbates the sense of loss, that the cause of Jason’s death was her brother.”
Mr Alty said that since the accident Yates had expressed: “No sense of self-pity and considerable remorse.”
Judge Clayson said: “So many people have had their lives very deeply affected by your conduct that evening, that is why the sentence must be severe.
“The sentence cannot make up for all the terrible consequences suffered by the many victims.”
Dressed in a grey shirt, a grey tie and black trousers, Yates showed no emotion from the dock. Half of his sentence will be served in prison, with the remainer in the community, on licence.