Drug driver kills father and two-year-old son after driving 82mph in a 30mph zone

Lewis Woodcock with his father John Credit: Nottinghamshire Police

A drug-driver who killed a father and his two-year-old son has been jailed for 12 years and banned from driving for 18 years.

John Woodcock, known as Dan, and his son Lewis were killed on 15 January 2022 in Chesterfield when a car driven by James Gibson hit their vehicle side-on.

The father and son were travelling on Chesterfield Road North in Pleasley as they returned from a family day out when Gibson crashed into them.

Gibson, 31, had been driving on the opposite side of the road reaching speeds of up to 82mph in a 30mph zone.

He had also taken drugs and had alcohol in his system.

After running a red light and undertaking vehicles, Gibson veered into the centre of the carriageway and struck a concrete pedestrian crossing. He came onto their side of the road and hit their car.

It flipped in the air and landed wedged between another car and a wall.

James Gibson Credit: Nottinghamshire Police

Another car travelling behind Dan’s, which had family of three inside, was also hit.

They were left with only minor injuries but Nottinghamshire Police say they were greatly impacted emotionally at having witnessed the crash and aftermath.

At three separate locations on Gibson’s route towards the collision site he drove at speeds of 82mph, 75mph and 52mph - all in 30mph zones.

Gibson, of Mapletoft Avenue, Mansfield Woodhouse, had to be cut from his car by firefighters and had multiple broken bones. Throughout the investigation he stated he couldn’t recall what happened.

Appearing at Nottingham Crown Court, Gibson pleaded guilty to two counts of causing death by dangerous driving, and was jailed for a total of 12 years in prison.

He was also banned from driving for 18 years.

Investigator Louise Melbourne from Nottinghamshire Police’s Serious Collision Investigation Unit said: “James Gibson’s driving and actions on this day took a well-loved husband, son, brother, friend, and adored grandchild from their family and friends.

“No family should ever have to go through what their family has and still goes through daily. And that suffering was completely avoidable.

“Gibson got behind the wheel of his car not only with alcohol in his system but drugs too.

“Not content with that, his manner of driving, reaching speeds nearly three times the limit, running a red light, and overtaking cars putting countless drivers at risk showed his complete disregard not only for his own safety but innocent members of the public's too."