Watch shocking footage of drink and drug driver who caused death of young dad Richie Jordan as partner Carol King pleads for others not to make same mistake
A video has been released showing the shocking moment a drink and drug fuelled driver lost control of his car at more than 120mph, killing a young dad.
Three years have now passed since 33-year-old back-seat passenger Richard Jordan tragically died following the devastating collision on the A19 near Houghton-le-Spring on August 4, 2019.
For his partner Carol King, who found out she was pregnant with their second child just 11 days after burying him, it has been a period of inconsolable sadness, pain and ‘what ifs’.
The driver of the car, Richard’s work colleague Mark Thompson, was found to have taken drugs and was over the alcohol limit. He is currently serving six years and eight months in jail for causing his death.
Today (August 15), to coincide with the start of a national drink & drug driving awareness campaign, Carol has bravely asked police to release the footage of the crash that cruelly claimed Richie’s life, robbing him of the chance to be a father his then unborn baby.
He also left behind his first daughter, Quinn.
Making it public for the first time, Carol hopes the dashcam footage will help prevent anyone else going through the same devastating experience.
Carol, 30, said: “I used to be the person who read about these tragic incidents. 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.”
Carol hopes that by releasing the tragic footage, more people will challenge anyone they may know who may be about to drive, knowing they are potentially over the limit.
She added: “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?
“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. The ripple effect of that night passed on to two young children to carry the burden of before their lives have even begun.”
The campaign that will run for the next fortnight, with Northumbria Police playing a leading role.
Officers from the Force’s Operation Dragoon team will be carrying out enforcement action across the region’s roads, as well as educating drivers about the consequences of driving with drink or drugs in their system.
Carol said: “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, of Northumbria Police’s Operation Dragoon team, echoed Carol’s warning.
He 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 August 31 last year, Mark Thompson, 43, of Seaton Crescent, Seaham, pleaded guilty to causing Richard’s death by dangerous driving as well as causing serious injury to another passenger in the car.