Spilsby

Driver jailed after killing best friend

This story is over

A driver who caused a horror crash, killing his best friend and seriously injuring three others has been jailed for five years.

Shane Chamberlain, 25, had been drinking in a pub with friends before he lost control on a bend and collided head on with another car.

Lincoln Crown Court heard that Chamberlain veered into the wrong lane of the A16 at East Keal near Spilsby and struck a couple driving in the opposite direction.

Chamberlain’s rear seat passenger Nathan Ardron, 24, was killed and a second passenger Benjamin Gibson was seriously injured.

Glenys Bark, 56, was so badly injured she spent almost three months in hospital. Her husband Nigel, 64, was also seriously hurt.

The couple, who were visiting relatives in the area, are still suffering serious effects from their injuries 17 months after the collision.

During the journey Nathan Ardron had warned Chamberlain to slow down because of his concerns about the speed he was driving.

Nathan Ardron sadly died at the scene of the crash. Photo: Facebook

After the collision Chamberlain failed a breath test and was also found to have a small amount of cocaine in his blood.

Shane Chamberlain, of Birch Grove, Alford, admitted causing the death of Nathan Ardron by driving dangerously  on 17 August 2017. He also admitted three charges of causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

He was jailed for five years and banned from driving for five and a half years.

Judge John Pini QC, passing sentence, told Chamberlain: “Your passengers were saying to you to slow down because you were going too fast.

“You failed to negotiate the bend, crossed the white lines and collided almost head-on with Mr and Mrs Bark.

“The result of what you chose to do has been absolutely and utterly catastrophic.”

Phil Howes, prosecuting, said that Chamberlain had no insurance for his Vauxhall Astra and was over the drink-drive limit when the collision occurred.

He said Glenys Bark was driving perfectly properly when she was suddenly faced by Chamberlain’s Astra coming straight at her on the wrong side of the road.

“She tried to swerve and mounted the pavement but there was an impact. They were left trapped in their car and in pain.”

Other motorists stopped to help the Barks and Chamberlain and his two passengers.

A16 East Keal. Photo: Google Street View

Nathan Ardron was taken out of the Astra and attempts were made to resuscitate him. Paramedics arrived at the scene but were unable to save him.

Chamberlain’s other passenger Benjamin Gibson suffered a fractured pelvis and fractured left collarbone.

Glenys Bark suffered a number of injuries including fractures to her pelvis, shin, two ribs, hand and wrist as well as a collapsed lung and other internal injuries.

The court was told she was previously a very active woman but continues to be in considerable pain and has limited mobility.

Nigel Bark suffered a fractured back, trapped nerve and a ruptured bowel. He also continues to suffer pain and reduced mobility.

Chamberlain was himself seriously injured and had to be cut out of his vehicle.

He was breath-tested at the scene producing a reading of 62 mgs of alcohol per 100 mls of breath which was almost twice the legal limit of 35 mgs.

When he was interviewed by police he did not answer questions but in a prepared statement said he had no recollection of the collision.

Mr Howes said: “He described Nathan Ardron as his best mate and like a brother to him. He said he was deeply sorry for Nathan’s loss and the injuries that were caused to the other people.”

Michael Cranmer-Brown, in mitigation, said that Chamberlain had not intended to hurt anyone.

“This defendant is full of remorse for what he did that night. It was his best friend who died in the collision. They had known each other since he was 14.

“He is still finding it hard to come to terms with the fact that he has lost his best friend made all the more profound by the fact that he was responsible for it.”

He said that Chamberlain suffered fractures to his left thigh bone and knee-cap as well as internal injuries which means he now has a colostomy bag fitted.

Nathan Ardron’s parents described how the family has been left totally devastated by the death of their son.

His mother Jewel told the court: “My son was my life and now he’s gone. None of my family will ever be the same without him. He was the glue that held us all together.”

Nathan’s father Darren said: “It’s just like your heart has been ripped out and all that has been left is an empty shell. My family is forever broken and beyond repair.”