Wetherby man one of two jailed following "lunatic" driving which lead to horror car crash

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Two boy racers have been jailed after their “lunatic” driving ended in a horror crash in which one young woman broke her back and three others were injured.

Ben Spink, 20, from Wetherby, and his friend Harry Greenall, 18, a highly esteemed RAF man, bombed down the A162 between Sherburn and Tadcaster at over 90mph and shot through country villages at over 70mph.

They were overtaking and racing each other despite them having four young women in each of the two cars, York Crown Court heard.

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Prosecutor Brooke Morrison said the cars “hurtled” down dimly lit roads in the early hours of the morning for a “prolonged” period until Spink’s Ford Fiesta hit a pedestrian island and a parked car in Towton, which caused it to ricochet into a wall.

Ben Spink and Harry Greenall have been jailed following a horror crash which caused one woman to suffer from a broken back and left three others injuredBen Spink and Harry Greenall have been jailed following a horror crash which caused one woman to suffer from a broken back and left three others injured
Ben Spink and Harry Greenall have been jailed following a horror crash which caused one woman to suffer from a broken back and left three others injured

Spink had been trying to overtake Greenall’s car at the time at a ludicrous speed, way over double the 30mph speed limit.

All four women inside Spink’s car were injured and one of the victims, who was named in court, broke her back.

They were all taken to Leeds Generally Infirmary, including Spink who suffered a facial fracture and a spinal injury.

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Greenall’s Vauxhall Corsa, which had been travelling behind Spinks’s car and whose passengers included his own girlfriend, was not directly involved in the accident and none of his passengers were injured.

The women in Spink’s car said he was driving “like an idiot” as the cars raced down the winding single carriageway at over 90mph.

He and Greenall had been overtaking each other at “excessive speeds, on multiple occasions”.

The race was captured on Greenall’s dashcam and showed the cars bombing past ‘slow’ signs at 90mph on stretches of road with no streetlights.

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At one stage, their speed dials hit 76mph as they came out of one village in a 30mph zone.

As they were about to drive out of the village, Greenall slowed down as another motorist in front was about to turn right, but Spink “shot” past him just before he turned off the road.

As the two cars sped into Towton, Spink tried to overtake Greenall’s Corsa at “excessive speed” by driving around a pedestrian island.

He managed to manouevre around the first island but then lost control and crashed into a second one.

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The Fiesta ricocheted into a VW Polo parked at the side of the road and then cannoned off that vehicle into a wall at the front of a row of houses on Main Street.

Spink and Greenall were charged with causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

Spink admitted the offence but Greenall, of Romans Close, Riccall, near Selby, denied the allegation because his vehicle was not directly involved in the crash.

He ultimately admitted an alternative charge of dangerous driving.

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The woman who broke her back spent a week in hospital where she had surgery to have metal rods and pins inserted into her spine after fracturing several vertebrae in her lower back.

She had to wear a body brace for three months and use a wheelchair in the early stages of her recovery.

She is now awaiting further surgery to have the metal rods removed.

She still had “severe pain” in her back and had also suffered psychologically since the horrific accident on July 30 last year.

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Another named woman, a college rugby player, suffered injuries to her neck, back and ankle and had to wear a leg brace.

She was kept in hospital overnight and returned four days later because she was in so much pain and couldn’t sleep because of flashbacks.

She said she thought she was going to die as Spink’s car ploughed into the wall.

A third victim suffered serious bruising to her legs, as well as head, back and neck injuries.

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A fourth named woman, also a college student, suffered bruising to her lower back, as well as chest and neck injuries.

She had suffered from panic attacks since the crash and was still suffering from back and bladder pain.

At the time of the accident, Spink already had a previous conviction for a drink-fuelled attack on an emergency worker.

A month after the accident, he was again convicted of being drunk and disorderly, as well as failing to surrender to custody and disclosing a private sexual photo which ultimately landed him with a community punishment and an alcohol-abstinence order.

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Glen Parsons, for Spink, said his client had still not recovered from his injuries.

He had since felt suicidal and had lost his job and his family were “devastated”.

Fen Greatley-Hirsch, for Greenall, said his client was a senior RAF aircraftman with a promising future.

He had a clean driving record at the time and won awards for flight safety.

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The barrister added: “He is deeply committed to his family and his service, and he’s deeply ashamed of this offending."

He said it was likely that Greenall would now be dismissed by the RAF.

Judge Sean Morris said the two men had driven “like lunatics” and that they were both equally culpable for the crash and its disastrous consequences.

He said it was “just luck that these eight girls are still alive”.

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The judge added: “Undoubtedly, this was a joint enterprise of racing."

He told the defendants: “There’s a girl with metal in her spine who’s got to go back to hospital for another operation.

“Those girls will have nightmares; will have been traumatised by this and the court needs to deter other young men from driving like lunatics and bringing death and destruction to other families.”

Spink, of Bramble Avenue, Boston Spa, was jailed for 14 months and given a two-year driving ban.

Greenall was jailed for 10 months and received a one-year motoring ban.