Watch: Dad killed after drug-fuelled driver loses control of car while speeding
The distraught family of a young father killed in a high speed drug-fuelled crash have released footage of the incident to warn others of the dangers of driving under the influence.
Richie Jordan, 33, was the back seat passenger in a Mercedes being driven by his colleague Mark Thompson, 42, when it crashed and overturned on the A19 near Houghton-le-Spring, Sunderland, in August 2019.
The car had reached speeds of more than 120mph, and Richie was pronounced dead at the scene following the collision.
The front seat passenger, Lewis Atkinson, suffered a bleed on the brain.
Thompson was found to be over the limit for both drink and drugs and was jailed for six years and eight months after pleading guilty to causing death by dangerous driving and causing serious injury by dangerous driving.
He has also been banned from the roads for three years after his release.
Richie's partner, Carol King, has asked for the dashcam footage of the collision to be made public in the hope others will think again before getting behind the wheel while under the influence.
The 30-year-old said: “I used to be the person who read about these tragic incidents. Then it happened to my family. People don’t realise at the time when under the influence of drink or drugs, all inhibitions and common sense go out of the window. Other road users, pedestrians, even your own passengers’ safety and your own doesn’t register and isn’t called into question, the recklessness completely spirals.
“Before Richie passed I probably wouldn’t challenge somebody who had been drinking but you see it all the time, people pushing the boundaries. ‘I’ll just have a couple,’ ‘it’s only down the road,’ ‘I’ll be fine, it will only take five minutes.’ Now I wouldn’t think twice about challenging someone I knew who’s over the limit.
“On the night Richie died that was precisely what happened. A number of decisions were made without thinking or being challenged. It has destroyed the lives of so many people. One moment – getting behind the wheel under the influence of drink and drugs – and for what?"
Just 11 days after losing her partner, Carol, from Sunderland, discovered she was pregnant with Richie's second child and she now has two little girls that will grow up without their dad.
“I’ve now got two young daughters, Quinn is four and Gray is two, who are yet to fully comprehend their loss and the enormity of what’s happened," she said. "The ripple effect of that night passed on to two young children to carry the burden of before their lives have even begun.”
Carol added: “Campaigns like this are so important and that’s why we wanted to release the footage now and hopefully stop others from making the same mistakes that were made that night
“In the years since Richie’s death, we’ve all been trying to make sense of it – it must have been for something. There must be a positive or a lesson we can take from it.
“So when you see someone who is considering jumping in the car under the influence, think of Richie. Think of my girls and remember the story you’re reading now - a story similar to ones I once read could be your own reality, as it is for me now.”
Sgt Glen Robson said: "By making the decision to get behind the wheel, you are rolling the dice with people’s lives. As this awful case shows, it can have irreversible consequences and ruin more than one life in an instant.
“This footage showing the moment before Richie’s death is hard-hitting and harrowing. We’re releasing it for a reason – to try and help get the message through to people.
“We all have a responsibility to help make our roads as safe as they possibly can be for all road users. Anyone who flouts the law and gambles with other people’s lives will be dealt with robustly.”