Footage has been released showing the moment a young dad was killed as a drink and drug-fuelled driver lost control at 120mph.
Richard Jordan was a back-seat passenger in the car which crashed on the A19, near Houghton-le-Spring, Sunderland, on 4 August 2019.
The driver of the car, Mr Jordan's work colleague Mark Thompson, was found to be over the drugs and alcohol limit when he collided with another vehicle.
He is serving six years and eight months in jail for causing his death.
Now for the first time, Mr Jordan's partner, Carol King, has asked the police to release the dash cam footage of the collision in a bid to dissuade other drivers from getting behind the wheel while under the influence.
Dash cam footage of the fatal collision has been released for the first time since Richard Jordan's death. Credit: Northumbria Police
"I used to be the person who read about these tragic incidents," she said. "Then it happened to my family.
“People don’t realise at the time when under the influence of drink or drugs, all inhibitions and common sense go out of the window.
"Other road users, pedestrians, even your own passengers’ safety and your own doesn’t register and isn’t called in to question, the recklessness completely spirals."
Ms King found out that she was pregnant with the couple's second child just 11 days after burying Mr Jordan.
“I’ve now got two young daughters, Quinn is four and Gray is two, who are yet to fully comprehend their loss and the enormity of what’s happened," she added.
"The ripple effect of that night passed on to two young children to carry the burden of before their lives have even begun.”
Ms King has spoken out this month as part of a national drink and drug driving awareness campaign, which runs until 28 August.
Ms King said: “Before Richie passed I probably wouldn’t challenge somebody who had been drinking but you see it all the time, people pushing the boundaries.
‘I’ll just have a couple,’ ‘it’s only down the road,’ ‘I’ll be fine, it will only take five minutes.’ Now I wouldn’t think twice about challenging someone I knew who’s over the limit.
“On the night Richie died that was precisely what happened. A number of decisions were made without thinking or being challenged.
"It has destroyed the lives of so many people. One moment – getting behind the wheel under the influence of drink and drugs – and for what? "
To raise awareness, Northumbria Police officers will be carrying out enforcement action across the region’s roads this month.
They will also be educating drivers about the consequences of driving with drink or drugs in their system – telling Ms King's story.
Ms King continued: “Campaigns like this are so important and that’s why we wanted to release the footage now and hopefully stop others from making the same mistakes that were made that night.
“In the years since Richie’s death, we’ve all been trying to make sense of it – it must have been for something. There must be a positive or a lesson we can take from it.
“So when you see someone who is considering jumping in the car under the influence, think of Richie.
"Think of my girls and remember the story you’re reading now - a story similar to ones I once read could be your own reality, as it is for me now.”
Sergeant Glen Robson from Northumbria Police said: “By making the decision to get behind the wheel, you are rolling the dice with people’s lives. As this awful case shows, it can have irreversible consequences and ruin more than one life in an instant.
“This footage showing the moment before Richie’s death is hard-hitting and harrowing. We’re releasing it for a reason – to try and help get the message through to people.
“We all have a responsibility to help make our roads as safe as they possibly can be for all road users. Anyone who flouts the law and gambles with other people’s lives will be dealt with robustly.”
On 31 August 2021, Mark Thompson, 43, of Seaton Crescent, Seaham, pleaded guilty to causing Mr Jordan's death by dangerous driving as well as causing serious injury to another passenger in the car.
He was sentenced at Newcastle Crown Court.
Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To know...