The families of two men who were killed in a fireball crash in Branton have this afternoon spoken of their loss - as the man driving the car is convicted of causing their deaths by dangerous driving.
Liam Aldred, 26, and Dean McIntyre, 27, were killed when the black Renault Megane they were travelling in - being driven by James Maughan - crashed into a garden wall in Poppyfields Way, Branton, on August 25 last year.
Both families have paid tribute to the men who died after Maughan was found guilty of causing death by dangerous driving yesterday, following a trial.
The family of Liam Aldred said: “We miss Liam every single day. His death has had a huge impact on everyone, and the local community have been so very supportive, which has meant the world to us.
“Part of us died alongside him and it’s had a devastating impact on all of us; the pain will never go away. We have been served a life sentence and we’ll never get to see Liam get married and have a family, experiences that were so cruelly taken away from him.
“When we heard about the crash, all we wanted to know was whether Liam was alive or dead. But, due to Maughan’s actions in leaving the scene, it took us several days to learn the truth. Maughan is a coward and he chose to run.
“The TV images of the car burning are etched into our memories and we have had nightmares since it happened. We wanted justice for us, but most of all we wanted justice for Liam, who died for nothing.
“All we ever wanted for Liam is for him to be happy and for him to one day raise a family of his own. He leaves behind a mother and father, brothers, sister, nephew and nieces; each and every one of us will have to learn to deal with this.
“We’d like to thank South Yorkshire Police for the effort and hard work, particularly the support we’ve received from Family Liaison Officer Andy Whittaker, who has provided crucial support and is now more like a friend to us.
“The trial has been traumatic and we cannot forgive Maughan for leaving Liam and Dean in the car to perish. We are lost. No custodial sentence matters; what matters is that we’ve lost Liam and he will never be returned to us.”
The family of Dean McIntyre said: “Dean was a loveable rogue; he was very well known and popular within the community; we can’t get used to not seeing him walking through the streets with his dogs.
“Dean was so dearly loved; we were all looking forward to the day he would get married and have a family of his own. This will never happen now and we feel like we’ve got nothing left. We have been left devastated as a family and we’re still struggling to come to terms with Dean’s death.
“The local community have been fantastic; people have stopped us just to hug us and tell us they’re thinking of us. That has meant so much to us and we are so grateful for their support at such a devastating time.
“Both Dean and Liam had their whole lives ahead of them and we are distraught that they will never get the chance to live full and happy lives.
“Rest in peace Dean and Liam; hopefully they can now both lay back and take it easy. Love you both.”