A drink-driver who killed two people and seriously injured another in a high speed crash has been jailed.
Sussex Police said 20-year-old Benjamin Bosden, of Rushlake Green in Heathfield, was jailed for five years today (June 3) in a sentencing at Lewes Crown Court.
Police said Bosden was found to have a blood alcohol level in excess of the legal limit and to have been travelling at well over the speed limit when his car struck that of local residents David and Linda Evans on September 9, 2017, on the A267 at Cross-In-Hand.
Both Mr and Mrs Evans, who were aged 55 and 48 respectively and described by relatives and friends as 'a shining example of a fun-loving couple with a zest for life', were killed instantly and Bosden's 18-year-old female passenger was left with life-threatening injuries requiring emergency surgery, said police.
Bosden also sustained serious injuries in the collision, which occurred at about 11.30pm, police added.
Police said Bosden had been driving a Mini Countryman, John Cooper Works model, northbound on the A267 when he crossed into the southbound carriageway and crashed into a Ford Ranger travelling in the opposite direction, just short of Meres Lane. The speedo on the Mini was found stuck at 112mph immediately after the collision.
The impact was so severe that it stopped the Ford in its tracks and pushed it backwards off the road, said police, leaving a scene described by witnesses as 'something out of a war zone or off of the TV'.
David and Linda’s family said: “The irresponsible and thoughtless actions of one young man have caused the death of two people. This has led to the immeasurable, intense and wide-ranging grief and feelings of devastation in the lives of so many family members and friends. These lives can never be the same.”
Bosden had pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to two counts of causing death by dangerous driving and one of causing serious injury by dangerous driving, which takes into account the offences of speeding and drink-driving, police said.
He was sentenced by Her Honour Judge Christine Laing QC to a total of five years’ imprisonment, added police.
Addressing Bosden at sentencing, she said: “You drove at a frankly ludicrous speed for the conditions and alcohol played a significant part. You showed a flagrant disregard for the rules of the road and an utter disregard for the serious danger you posed for other road users.”
The Investigating Officer, PC Shirley Ross, of the Serious Collision Investigation Unit, said: “This collision was another tragic case where lives were needlessly lost and others devastated.
“Bosden’s decision that day to get behind the wheel of a high powered car and to drive in the reckless manner that he did, having consumed alcohol, was nothing short of dangerous.
“This case is another stark warning to all drivers, particularly those in this young age bracket, of the devastating consequences of exceeding speed limits and driving whilst under the influence of alcohol.
“Our advice is simple – drink OR drive; never both.”
The images included in this story were released with the support of Mr and Mrs Evans's family.