Killer driver jailed after horror crash left South Shields mum and son dead and 'changed family's life forever'

Stephen Boyack and his mother Angela Boyack, from South Shields, died after their Hyundai was hit by a BMW driven by Joshua HIll in Derbyshire on December 9 2023
-Credit: (Image: PA)

The killer driver responsible for a horror smash that killed a South Shields mother and son has been jailed for 13 years.

Joshua Hill, 27 and of Wheata Road, Sheffield, previously pleaded guilty to two counts of causing the deaths by dangerous driving and failing to stop following an accident.. Hill had been at the wheel of a BMW X3 which overtook another vehicle dangerously before ploughing head-on into a Hyundai containing Angela and Stephen Boyack.

This incident occurred on the A632 in Derbyshire on December 9 last year. Family members William and Alex Boyack were watching on in horror, DerbyshireLive reports.

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William - Angela's husband and Stephen's father - and his elder son Alex ran to the scene but were unable to save their loved ones.

In a victim impact statement, William - known as Billy - said: “We were married for 35 years, she was a caring, loving, wife and meant everything to me. Every time I think about it (the crash) I get unbearable pains in my chest and I suffer flashbacks.

“I can't unsee the image of my wife lying there dead. The actions of another on that day have caused the loss of my wife and son."

Alex Boyack added in his own statement: "December 9 is a date my life changed forever. Stephen was not just my younger brother, he was my best friend. We were like a double act. It was my job to protect him and I just felt powerless. I don't know what the future looks like now."

Jailing Hill for 13 years, Judge Jonathan Straw said: “Nothing I can say in the sentence I pass can begin to reflect the enormity of this tragedy. Your driving was cavalier and reckless in terms of speeds in those conditions.

"You were playing automotive Russian roulette. You should not have been in Derbyshire at all that day as you were on police bail and a condition of it was not to enter the county, but there you were.

Joshua Hill who has been jailed at  Derby Crown Court for 13 years for two counts of causing death by dangerous driving after causing the deaths of Angela Boyack, 59, and her son Stephen, 22
A moving service was held at South Shields Crematorium to honour the lives of Angela and Stephen Boyack on Tuesday, January 16.

"William and Alex desperately tried to help as did others. You did not, you took to your heels, went back to Sheffield and went to ground."

Laura Pitman, prosecuting, said the crash happened on the A632 Chesterfield Road at Span Carr on Saturday, December 9, last year, at around 10.20am. She said it involved a Hyundai being driven by Mr Boyack and a black BMW, being driven by Hill.

The prosecutor said there was a fault on Hill’s car, it was raining and a police investigation concluded he had been travelling as much as 72mph in the lead-up to the crash.

Miss Pitman said the Boyack family had been enjoying a holiday in Derbyshire to celebrate Mrs Boyack’s upcoming birthday. She said they were in convoy in two cars heading back to their home in South Shields, where they lived and where she works for South Tyneside Council as a library worker.

Miss Pitman said: “A witness said he was driving his car when, out of nowhere, the defendant's car appeared and tried to overtake it. He said as it passed, a passenger in the BMW was hanging out of the window sticking his middle finger up.

“She remembers saying to her passenger 'the way that BMW is being driven the driver will end up killing someone'. A second witness said the BMW was being driven fast. He said he could not say how fast but he was surprised the driver carried out that manoeuvre."

CCTV and dashcam footage played at the hearing showed that Alex and William witnessed the collision and saw the Hyundai Stephen had been driving rolling into a grass verge and then come to a stop. She said: "They pulled over and ran to the car.

"Alex went to the passenger side where his mother was and tried desperately to open the door and get his mother out but was unable to. William was desperately trying to get to his wife but saw petrol coming from the car and, fearing the car would set alight, went to get a fire extinguisher.

"They saw the defendant and his passenger watching. they offered no assistance or help. The defendant decided to leave the scene with his passenger and a member of the public heard one of them shout 'run, run'. In the days that followed, he decided to hide from the police."

The prosecutor said Hill was arrested days after the death crash and in interview said the car in front of him was travelling slowly and he thought he would "just go round it and had plenty of time" and suggested that when he tried the manoeuvre, the car he was trying to overtake sped up. She said: "The police report writer concluded that the BMW did not have sufficient space or time and misjudged the time and space available to complete the manoeuvre."

Hill, of Wheata Road, Sheffield, previously pleaded guilty to two counts of causing the deaths by dangerous driving and failing to stop following an accident.

Simon Eckersley, mitigating, said his client did not intend to cause the devastation he did. Hill was also disqualified from driving for 10 years.