Driver who reached speeds of 93mph jailed for killing two women


A driver who reached speeds of 93mph has been jailed for causing the deaths of two women.

Benjamin Lewis, 31, was sentenced to 10 years in prison at Chester Crown Court on Wednesday.

Ellie Crossley, 20, and her friend Rebecca Doughty, also 20, who were both from Connah’s Quay in Flintshire, died in the collision in Dunkirk, Cheshire, on 25 November 2021.

The court heard Lewis had been driving at speeds of up to 93mph in a 60mph zone on the A5117.

He then lost control of his BMW 420D and collided with a Citroen DS3 which was travelling in the opposite direction towards Cheshire Oaks.

Lewis, from the Cheshire town of Neston, pleaded guilty to two counts of causing death by dangerous driving.

Pic: Family handout

The families of Ms Crossley and Ms Doughty said their lives and world had been “changed forever”.

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“Ellie and Becca had been best friends since primary school and were inseparable and had their whole lives ahead of them,” they added.

‘Beautiful angels’

The families said their “beautiful angels” were “caring, funny and thoughtful young women”.

“In their short lives our daughters created so many special memories with their families and friends, and we will continue to treasure those memories each and every single day,” they added.

Forensic investigations by Cheshire Constabulary established the BMW had crossed double solid white lines and entered into the opposite lane when it collided with the Citroen.

The defendant had initially admitted a lesser charge of causing death by careless driving, but the prosecution did not accept his plea.

He later changed his guilty pleas to the more serious charge.

Benjamin Lewis. Pic: Cheshire Constabulary

‘Devastating loss’

Sergeant Andy Dennison, from Cheshire Constabulary’s serious and complex collision investigation unit, said Lewis had “driven at high speed on several roads… despite the terrible weather conditions”.

“Ellie and Rebecca paid the ultimate price,” Sergeant Dennison added.

“I cannot begin to imagine the devastating loss that both Ellie and Rebecca’s families have had to endure throughout this long and painful process.”

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He said it had been an “extremely challenging and complex investigation” and thanked all the officers involved.

“While this result will not bring back Ellie and Rebecca to their families, I hope this sends a message to others about the consequences of driving at high speed.”

Lewis was also banned from driving for four years after his release from prison.

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