Essex Driver Jailed Over Crash

Mitchell Welham has been jailed for 3 years for causing death by careless driving after a crash in Essex.

The 21 year old from Rotary Way in Colchester was over the legal alcohol limit and also had no licence or insurance.

Welham had not passed a driving test when he crashed a Ford Fiesta into a tree on the Avenue of Rememberance in November 2009, killing his passenger, Michael Hammond.

The 18 year old, from Spring Chase, Wivenhoe, died at the scene of the crash. His family have issued the following statement:

"Michael was a very popular and much-loved person, the lovely memories we have of him in his short life will never be forgotten. Thinking of his cheeky smile, the family holidays, the way he always looked out for his siblings and his kindness towards others will always bring a tear to our eyes but also a warm feeling to our hearts.

"Michael my son, we miss and love you dearly, now that justice has been served may you rest in peace, good night my angel."

Welham has been sentenced to 3 years in prison, was given a 6 year driving ban and will have to take an extended driving test.

Inspector Steve Brewer from Stanway Road Policing Unit said: "I hope that the sentence imposed will bring some closure to the family of Michael Hammond who died in this tragic collision.

“This was unfortunately a recipe for disaster that became a reality in the early hours of November 21, 2009. Mitchell Welham should not have been driving this car; he had not passed a driving test and had limited experience of driving. It is not acceptable for a person to get behind the steering wheel of a car and drive without having a valid driving licence and insurance. If that driver is then also impaired through drink or drugs, there is a strong probability that a collision is likely to occur. I suspect these two young men gave this little thought when they set off on their journey that night. Tragically one of them has lost his life and the other has to live with what has happened for the rest of his life.”

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