Death crash driver killed his friend

Daniel Wadforth
Daniel Wadforth

A man whose dangerous overtaking caused an accident which killed a friend and seriously injured a woman has been jailed for six years.

Ashley Circuit, 23, of Farnham Drive, Rushden, was a passenger in the car being driven by Daniel Wadforth, 25, of Hayway, Rushden, when the crash happened at about 8pm on Sunday, March 17, this year.

Wadforth appeared at Northampton Crown Court on Friday where he was handed a six-year sentence for causing death by dangerous driving and a further concurrent three-year sentence for causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

The court was told that Wadforth was driving his Volkswagen Bora along the A6 Bedford Road away from Rushden when he made a dangerous overtaking manoeuvre.

His car smashed head-on into a Peugeot 206 heading in the opposite direction.

Mr Circuit suffered very serious injuries and died at the scene while Victoria Clarke, the driver of the Peugeot 206, suffered ‘life-changing injuries’ which mean she will never walk unaided again and will never be able to run.

She had to receive specialist treatment at Walsgrave Hospital in Coventry.

The court heard that Wadforth had been drinking during the day of the crash.

A breath test taken about three hours after the collision gave a reading slightly under the legal limit for alcohol.

At the time he told officers he could not remember the collision, which happened near the junction with Avenue Road.

However, other road users described Wadforth making the dangerous overtaking move soon after exiting a roundabout near Avenue Road.

A statement written by Wadforth was read aloud in court in which he apologised for causing the death of his friend.

In the statement, he added: “I have to live my life knowing I killed my mate.

“It breaks my heart that his child has to grow up without a father.

“It was an accident, I didn’t mean for it to happen.”

In addition to his prison sentences, Judge Richard Bray gave Wadforth a four-year driving ban, which will come into effect when he is released from prison.

He will also have to take an extended driving test before he is allowed to have his licence back.

Wadforth had previously appeared at Northampton Crown Court for a preliminary hearing in October where he had pleaded guilty to both charges.

On that occasion Wadforth volunteered to surrender himself into custody, meaning his prison sentence began from that date.