Two young drivers who raced each other before crashing on a duel carriageway near Worthing have been sentenced.
Louis Greco and Jake Hedges crashed after racing each other on the A27 Arundel Road at Durrington at about 9.41pm on Sunday February 21.
The pair had earlier met up at Lyons Farm with the intention of racing their vehicles, and investigations reveal they were both travelling in excess of the 40mph speed limit.
During the pursuit, Hedges, driving a black Peugeot 106, swerved across the path of Greco in an attempt to prevent him from overtaking in his blue Peugeot 206.
The manoeuvre caused Greco to lose control of his vehicle and hit a lamp post, seriously injuring himself and two of his three passengers; the remaining passenger escaped with minor injuries.
Greco, 19, a cashier, of Wallace Road, Littlehampton, and Hedges, 19, a computer industry employee, of Arundel Road, Worthing, were both charged with causing serious injury by dangerous driving.
Both men pleaded guilty to causing serious injury by dangerous driving at an earlier hearing at Worthing Magistrates’ Court, and were sentenced at Lewes Crown Court on Friday (16 September).
Greco was sentenced to two years imprisonment, suspended for two years, and disqualified from driving for five years. He was also ordered to pay £500 costs.
Hedges was sentenced to two years imprisonment, suspended for two years, and disqualified from driving for five years. He was also ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work and pay £500 costs.
PC Christina Lane, of the Serious Collision Investigation Unit, said: “Three young men – Greco and two of his passengers, both aged 18 – sustained life-changing injuries as a result of this collision and it is nothing short of a miracle that no one was killed.
“Not only have Greco and Hedges wrecked the lives of the passengers of their cars, but their own futures too through their immature and irresponsible attitude towards driving.
“We hope their convictions send a clear message out to other drivers that this sort of behaviour on the roads is not acceptable and can have life-changing consequences.”
Both Greco and Hedges were of previous good character with clean driving licences, and Sussex Police welcomes the sentences imposed.
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