A SPEEDING driver whose front seat passenger died in a three vehicle smash near Edinburgh’s Maybury Roundabout was jailed for three years today.
Distraught Darren Luke, 30, had to be helped from the dock at the High Court in Edinburgh after a judge told him he had caused “inestimable damage” to the family of handyman Billy Casement.
Mr Casement, 30, of Brand Gardens, Edinburgh, died after Luke’s Subaru Impreza clocked up more than 70mph in a 40mph zone, overtaking other cars The high-performance Impreza, on the wrong side of the road, rammed into a Renault Clio and a Peugeot Boxer van.
Offshore worker Frank Ballantyne, 48, of East Kilbride, Lanarkshire - returning home from his job at Leith Docks - was injured when Luke’s car struck his van, leaving it a write-off.
“I thought I was dead,” he told a trial.
And Brian Hutton, heading for a night at the cinema with his wife, Gillian, also described in court the terror of the early evening smash.
Luke of Kirk Street, Edinburgh, was pulled from the wreck on March 7 last year and found to have smashed ribs, a fractured pelvis and other injuries.
A jury found him guilty of causing death by dangerous driving.
When Luke returned to the High Court in Edinburgh to be sentenced today, solicitor advocate Simon Whyte, defending, said as well as the physical injuries Luke had suffered panic attacks and depression since the accident.
Mr Casement was someone he described as his best friend, said the lawyer.
Sentencing Luke, judge Lord Brodie said “Your dangerous driving has had the effect of taking away one life but has also caused inestimable damage to the lives of other people.”
“No sentence of any court can undo that.”
Luke, who has a previous conviction for speeding ten years ago, was also banned from driving for five years.
The earlier trial heard how shocked motorists on Maybury Road saw Luke overtaking two cars dangerously.
He was then seen entering a roundabout and as he came out he started to accelerate, slamming into the other two vehicles.
Lord Brodie said neither of the other two drivers had done anything to bring about the collision.