A drunk driver killed two young people when he crashed his BMW M3 into a tree after ‘trying to impress’ the girl he fancied.
Kane Faulkner-Wild, 23 had his hand on 16-year-old Sophia Khan’s leg while close friend Max Halcrow warned from the back seat ‘slow down or we’re all going to die’.
Moments later, the high-powered vehicle smashed into a tree near Loughton, Essex and at around 2 am on August 24, 2019, both Sophia and Max lost their lives.
Two other passengers Alana Cooper and Mae Hunt, then aged 16 and 17, suffered severe injuries and spent weeks recovering in hospital.
Faulkner-Wild told the authorities that Sophia was behind the wheel at the time of the crash but the evidence showed otherwise and he was handed an eight-year sentence.
The 23-year-old was nearly double the drink-drive limit (149mg of alcohol per 100ml of breath) when the car went off the road, according to prosecutor Meyrick Williams.
Chelmsford Crown Court heard he had been ‘trying to impress’ Sophia by driving fast.
Mr Williams said: “The car travelled for 50-100 metres along the verge before colliding with the tree, causing catastrophic damage to the car.
“The impact caused their deaths. It caused the rear of the car to end up almost at a right angle to the front of the car.”
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The defendant was proven to be the real driver after his DNA was found on the driver’s side airbag and handle.
Speaking after the verdict, Max’s family paid tribute to the ‘gorgeous’ young footballer who ‘lived life to the fullest’ – and slammed Faulkner-Wild for failing to tell the truth about who was driving the car.
According to Metro, the statement read: “No words can describe the loss of our Max. He loved and lived life to the fullest with music, friends and football. Max was a gorgeous boy with a kind heart and bright future.
“Our family for over two years have been put through a needless trial due to coercive behaviour along with a total lack of empathy, which caused us to relive the day Max died.
“This could have been avoided if the truth had been told at the start. Max might not be here but he will always be with us.”
Meanwhile, Nourin Khan, Sophia’s heartbroken mum, told the court: “She didn’t even have a chance to live her life.
“Her dream to become a criminal lawyer was never realised. Her friends loved her and adored her.”
Faulkner-Wild was jailed for eight years and six months on January 18, 2022 after being found guilty of causing death by dangerous driving. He was also disqualified from driving for 10 years and eight months.
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