Two drivers jailed for fatal crash at traffic lights in Walsall

Ethan Holness (left) and Frederick Rogers (right) Credit: West Midlands Police

Two drivers who crashed at a traffic light junction in Pelsall, killing a 21-year-old man, have been jailed for a combined total of 17 and a half years.

James Sheridan was a back seat passenger in a blue Ford Fiesta when it collided with a grey VW Golf in Norton Road shortly before midnight on 23 June, 2021.

Despite the efforts of paramedics, James sadly died from his injuries at the scene.

Investigators found that the Fiesta had been travelling at up to 72mph in the 30 mph zone, as it approached the lights at the junction with Lichfield Road and Wolverhampton Road.

Police said it went through those lights as they turned amber but travelling in the opposite direction was the Golf, being driven by Frederick Rogers at around 60mph. 

The Golf also went through the junction despite the lights being on red and the cars collided. 

Rogers failed a roadside breath test and a further blood sample showed he had 111 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood - the legal limit is 80.

Forensic work showed that Ethan Holness was driving the Fiesta which had been stolen two days earlier in the Telford area and was travelling on cloned plates. 

Rogers, 34, and Holness, 20, were both sentenced for causing death by dangerous driving at Wolverhampton Crown Court on Friday.

Holness, of Dickinson Avenue in Wolverhampton, was sentenced to seven years and six months and disqualified from driving for five years.

He will have to pass a extended test once the disqualification has ended.

Holness was also given a concurrent sentence for stealing the Ford Fiesta in Telford.

Rogers, of Hospital Lane in Cheslyn Hay, was sentenced to 10 years and disqualified from driving for six years and seven months.

He will also have to pass an extended test once the disqualification has ended.

Det Sgt Julie Lyman, from the Serious Collision Investigation Unit, said: "This was a complex investigation and through forensic work we have pieced together what happened that evening.

"Our thoughts remain with the family and friends of James.”