Shocking photos of Wellingborough boy-racer's wrecked Ford Fiesta after A45 smash that left woman with life-changing injuries
Reckless driver who went out looking for a race deserves to be behind bars, says crash investigator
Police say a boy-racer who crashed at 80mph leaving a young woman with life-changing back injuries deserves to be behind bars.
Zachary Ainsworth-Smith, aged 21, had three passengers with him when he crashed his Ford Fiesta on the A45 between Wellingborough and Rushden shortly after midnight on September 16, 2018.
The vehicle struck the central reservation before flipping over it and rolling for more than 170 metres along the opposite carriageway.
The woman was riding in the front passenger and suffered serious spinal damage when she was thrown from the car.
Ainsworth-Smith is now serving a 31-month jail sentence after pleading guilty to causing serious injury by dangerous driving at Northampton Crown Court earlier this month.
Pictures later released showed the extent of damage to the vehicle and PC Chris Gray, a forensic collision investigator with Northamptonshire Police, said it was remarkable nobody was killed.
PC Gray said: “I’m glad to see Ainsworth-Smith receive a custodial sentence, and I hope it gives pause to others who may believe they can pretend to be race drivers – you don’t have the skill and pushing your luck could cost you, or someone else, their life.
“This incident involved four young people in a car, where the driver was recklessly trying to race others on public roads.
“What happened as a result of Ainsworth-Smith’s actions was wholly avoidable, and highlights the very real dangers of driving at excess speed.
“The serious injuries suffered by the woman thrown from his car could easily have been fatal, and have completely changed her life, causing her daily pain and difficulty.
Ainsworth-Smith, of Minerva Way, Wellingborough, had been seen driving erratically at speed, undertaking vehicles and trying to get other motorists to race him.
He pulled up alongside a Vauxhall Corsa before speeding off at up to 90mph as a challenge but shot past an off-duty police officer who chased after the vehicle warning Ainsworth-Smith to pull over.
Ainsworth-Smith responded by 'wiggling' his car left and right before losing control and rolling more than a dozen times.
His Honour Judge Rupert Mayo told him: "You were warned by your passengers of your excessive speed.
"In my opinion, you show little victim empathy even now."