Stoned mechanic who killed passenger and bragged about dangerous driving is jailed
A car mechanic for Hexham, Northumberland has been jailed for causing the death of his teenage female passenger and injuring four others.> Martin Li posted videos of himself online driving erratically and at high speeds just weeks before the accident occurred.
Many video posts were accompanied by messages that revealed contempt for pedestrians, cyclists and other road users.
Before the accident, Li had offered to pick up Lucy Duggan and friends Alex Crowe and Lauren Jewitt in his recently-acquired Ford Focus ST.
The plan was to drive to nearby Corbridge but Li started to drive at excessive speeds in a bid to impress his passengers.
Newcastle Crown Court heard how Li obtained the turbocharged Focus by lying about his age to the insurance providers and drove at speeds up over 130mph on the day of the accident.
The court also heard how his female passengers had screamed for Li to slow down as he took corners at speeds in excess of the enforced limit.
According to The Daily Mail, Paul Rowland, prosecuting, said: "According to friends and witnesses he is a fast driver. He had in fact posted videos on YouTube, which does in fact demonstrate this.
"On the day of the accident the defendant was driving at greatly excessive speed.
"He paid no attention to the road markings and he had personal knowledge of the road so he should have been aware of the dangers."
Moments before the accident, Li rapidly approached a sharp left hand bend but crossed to the other side of the road. He attempted to correct his mistake but skidded across the carriageway and smashed into an oncoming vehicle.
The accused managed to escape 'virtually unscathed' but his passenger Ms Duggan was left with fatal internal injuries, while the other two passengers and the mother and daughter in the other car were all seriously injured.
Mr Rowland, prosecuting, added: "Mr Li and Alex Crowe both shared a joint of cannabis in his garage about 4.30pm.
"At about 7pm they picked up Lauren and Lucy. They agreed to pay five pounds petrol money to Mr Li to take them through to Corbridge."
Chillingly, Li had taken to Facebook to rant about fellow motorists and cyclists just weeks before the accident, saying: "F****** cyclists riding on the roads be warned, I will come passed you as close and as fast as I can. Don't like it? Get on the f****** path!"
Sky Tyne and Wear reported that Li's attitude behind the wheel had also landed him in trouble with a neighbour, who accused him of rounding a corner too fast.
Four weeks before the fatal crash, he wrote on Facebook: "do 1 ya stupid old hag, guna go twice as fast tomorro!"
Sentencing Li to eight years in jail, Judge John Evans said the speed he was doing and the nature of the road made a collision inevitable.
"You have blighted their lives and in particular that of Lucy's father," he said.
"No sentence I can possibly impose today can begin to compensate them for the loss of their loved one who will occupy their thoughts indefinitely.
"You killed someone needlessly and selfishly and if it haunts you for the rest of your life no one will shed a tear or deem it fitting."