Driver who crashed while trying to race others jailed
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Shocking images of the remains of the wrecked car have been released by officers – while Ainsworth-Smith and two other passengers were able to walk away, a young woman suffered life-changing spinal injuries when she was thrown from the car during the crash.
A man who lost control while trying to get other drivers to race him, seriously injuring one of his passengers, has been jailed for 31 months.
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 170m along the opposite carriageway, before the front-seat passenger was thrown from the car, suffering life-changing spinal injuries.
Before the collision Ainsworth-Smith had been seen driving erratically at speed, undertaking vehicles and trying to get other motorists to race him.
At Northampton Crown Court on Tuesday, June 15, Ainsworth-Smith, of Minerva Way, Wellingborough, was sentenced to 31 months in jail, having earlier pleaded guilty to causing serious injury by dangerous driving.
He was also banned from driving for 39 and a half months, after which he will need to pass an extended test in order to get behind the wheel again.
Forensic collision investigator PC Chris Gray, of Northamptonshire Police, said: “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.
“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.”