Footage shows 100mph Essex drink-driver in moments before he killed his friend

  • Essex Police have released dashcam footage of the moments leading up to the crash.

Police have released dashcam footage capturing the moments leading up to a fatal crash in which a drink-driver killed his friend.

The images captures the last journey of Jake Blease, 25, who was a passenger in the Ford Fiesta driven by Kane Gornall in September 2021.

It shows the car hitting speeds of over 100mph on a narrow Essex B-road in the dark, negotiating bends and oncoming traffic until it leaves the road and crashes into a tree in Cressing near Braintree at midnight.

At the wheel was Gornall, also 25, who was high on a lethal combination of speed, drink and drugs.

Gornall admitted dangerous driving and was jailed for four years and eight months in April.

The court heard Gornall had picked up Mr Blease and another passenger in Witham and they were on their way to collect Gornall's girlfriend in Braintree.

Jake Blease died in the crash at Cressing near Braintree. Credit: Essex Police

The footage has been released to mark the end of the charity Brake's national road safety campaign.

Mr Blease's mother Cheryl Marshall has spoken of the emotional impact of losing her son and how she felt sick when the police arrived to tell her what had happened.

She said: "When I heard the knock at the door, I just assumed it was Jake coming home.

“But obviously, when I came downstairs and opened the door, it wasn't Jake. It was two police officers standing on the doorstep.

“That night, the driver robbed us of any future with Jake.”

  • Jake Blease's mother Cheryl Marshall said such dangerous driving could "completely ruin lives"

Mr Blease's family paid tribute to him at the time as a man who "loved life and lived it to the fullest".

They said: "He had a cheeky smile and a laugh no-one could ever forget.“He touched so many people’s lives and was blessed to have such a wide range of friends, none of whom will ever forget his kindness or his infectious personality.”

Kane Gornall hit speeds of over 100mph on the narrow winding B-road before losing control of the car. Credit: Essex Police

Essex Police said they were urging all road users to play their part in keeping roads in Essex safe.

Police said the group had been in the car for just three minutes before the fatal crash took place.

PC Alan Marks said: "In that short time, two families’ lives changed forever."

He added: “Our investigation showed the car had been travelling in excess of 100mph in the run-up to the collision, twice the speed limit for the road.

“The combination of excessive speed and impaired reactions meant that Kane Gornall lost control of the car, something that was completely avoidable."

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know