A Doncaster man who left four people inside a burning car, causing the deaths of two men, showed no remorse, say police.
James ‘Jimmy’ Maughan, 22, was the driver of a black Renault Megane which crashed into a garden wall in Poppyfields Way, Branton, on the afternoon of Tuesday 25 August 2015.
The car burst into flames and, despite being seriously burnt, Maughan fled the scene.
Emergency services found two people, Liam Aldred, 26, and Dean McIntyre, 27, dead inside the car.
Two other males, aged 16 and 21, were also still inside and suffered burns, but survived.
The court heard that Maughan had been driving the Megane along Doncaster Road in convoy with a Volkswagen Passat. The cars were driven dangerously at around 70 miles-per-hour along the road, which has a 30 miles-per-hour limit. Both cars were seen on CCTV dangerously overtaking a car towing a caravan.
During the manoeuvre, the Passat collided with the Megane, which then hit a kerb and lost control, colliding with a central reservation and then a garden wall of a house in Poppyfields Way, coming to a rest on its roof and bursting into flames.
An investigation was launched to find Maughan and police soon discovered that he had fled to Swansea, South Wales, admitting himself to hospital under a different name, claiming his serious burns had been caused at a family barbeque.
Maughan, of Marshland Road, Moorends, was arrested while still at the hospital two days after the crash on 27 August. He was charged with two counts of causing death by dangerous driving, causing serious injury by dangerous driving, failing to stop at the scene of a road traffic collision, failing to report a road traffic collision, and causing intentional alarm, harassment or distress.
Following a trial at Sheffield Crown Court, a jury today (Monday 21 March) found Maughan guilty of both counts of causing death by dangerous driving and causing serious injury by dangerous driving. He will be sentenced on Thursday (24 March).
Temporary Inspector Steve Askham, from the Serious Collisions Unit, said: “Maughan had absolutely no regard for other drivers, pedestrians or those inside the car with him when he drove so dangerously on the day of the crash.
“He showed further disregard when he left his friends inside the car to burn. Despite conscious efforts to evade justice, South Yorkshire Police, in partnership with South Wales police and members of the community, has ensured Maughan is held to account for his actions.
“Maughan has never shown any remorse for what he did and, despite threats of extreme violence towards our police officers, we prosecuted him without fear or favour.
“The victims’ families finally have answers about what happened. No prison sentence can bring Liam and Dean back or undo the pain their families have been through, but I hope this will give them at least some comfort to allow them to begin to heal after so tragically losing two people who were dearly loved.”