Speeding Sheffield driver killed pal

Fatal accident Far Lane . Scene of Fatal accident Far Lane  in which Lewis Shaw was killed.
Fatal accident Far Lane . Scene of Fatal accident Far Lane in which Lewis Shaw was killed.

A driver was hurtling at more than twice the speed limit when he crashed his car into a lamppost in Sheffield, killing his friend.

Lewis Shaw, aged 20, died from multiple injuries, and 19-year-old Jack Battle was seriously hurt, when Joseph Woolhouse lost control of his mother’s silver Vauxhall Corsa on Far Lane, Wadsley, rolling the vehicle several times.

A third passenger, Alex Gillot, 18, suffered cuts and bruises in the smash at 7.10pm last August 9.

Prosecutor Michael Slater said a black box recorder showed that five minutes before the impact Woolhouse was driving at 67mph in a residential area where the speed limit was 30mph.

Jailing him for three years, Judge Julian Goose QC told soon-to-be dad Woolhouse, aged 19 of Industry Street, Walkley, that Lewis’ death was his fault alone.

“You were driving at almost motorway speeds in a built-up area,” he said.

“Due to your greatly excessive speed you lost control and drove into a lamppost. That caused the death of Lewis Shaw and significant injuries to Jack Battle.”

The judge said Lewis suffered a fractured skull, ribs and collarbone and internal injuries, and died at the scene.

“Lewis was a young man in the prime of his life who was tragically killed through no fault of his own,” he said.

“Nothing I can say or no sentence I can pass will bring him back.”

The court heard the trio, who were good friends, were on their way to a driving range when Woolhouse lost control on an ‘S’ bend.

He claimed he’d swerved to avoid an oncoming black Audi which had crossed the white line in the middle of the road.

Mr Slater said: “The car left the road. Having rolled several times it struck a lamppost which fell to the ground, and the car ended up on its side on a footpath.”

Witnesses described hearing a revving engine and screeching tyres shortly before the impact.

Gaynor Remington, a member of the Hallamshire Harriers who was running along Far Lane at the time, said: “I saw the silver Corsa come flying past. It flew over the hill.

“I would describe the driving as erratic.”

Jan Ashforth, also out running with club, said: “I heard what I can only describe as a loud engine and tyres screeching.

“As soon as it came into my view it started to roll over. It seemed to just lift off the ground and bounce four or five times. On the last roll it hit the lamppost which immediately fell like a tree being chopped down.”

The women, both nurses, went to help.

Mr Slater said Alex, who was cut and bruised, and Jack, who suffered multiple rib fractures and spent two weeks in hospital, got out of the car while Woolhouse tried to get Lewis out.

He told the women, ‘I’ve got to get my mate out’.

In the aftermath Mr Slater said around 200 to 300 people gathered at the scene - including Lewis’ mother and grandmother.

Quoting from a statement made by Lewis’ gran, Judge Goose said former Wisewood School pupil Lewis, who worked at Asda, was a ‘loyal friend who loved sport and had a wide circle of friends’.

“Every day without Lewis is a struggle,” she said. “We still can’t believe this has happened. He had just started his life, which has been taken from him.”

Woolhouse admitted causing death by dangerous driving.

Peter Hampton, defending, said Woolhouse was a hard working young man with no previous convictions who was about to become a father.

He said he had only been driving for eight months, and was genuinely remorseful.

“He is in no doubt about the enormity of what he has done,” he added.

Woolhouse was also banned from driving for five years, and will have to sit an extended test before he can get behind the wheel again.