Audi driver, 21, 'known for showing off' jailed for killing mum-of-two in 89mph crash

Will Taylor
·News Reporter
·3 min read
Nicola Johnson, left, died in a collision when Euan Short lost control of his vehicle. (GoFundMe/Getty)
Nicola Johnson, left, died in a collision when Euan Short lost control of his vehicle. (GoFundMe/Getty)

A “notoriously bad” driver who crashed into and killed a mother of two has been jailed.

Euan Short, 21, drove at 89mph in a 60mph zone before losing control of his Audi A3 on 2 August 2019, having drank alcohol before the incident.

He lost control of his car at a bend and crashed into a Ford driven by Nicola Johnson, 30, on the A422 near Inberrow in Worcestershire.

She suffered catastrophic injuries in the crash, which took place at about 9.20pm, and was pronounced dead at the scene.

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Sentencing Short, who admitted causing death by dangerous driving, to five years in prison, Judge Nicholas Cartwright said: “No sentence could replace the loss you have caused to them (Johnson’s family).

“You were deliberately driving at a speed which was above the speed limit.”

He added: “You had consumed a significant amount of alcohol beforehand.”

The court heard that Short, who was known for showing off his car, and a friend had been drinking in pubs in Flyford Flavell, a village near Worcester where the defendant lived.

WORCESTER, ENGLAND - AUGUST 28:  General view of Worcester Crown Court where six men and one woman are appearing after being charged for an acid attack on a 3-year-old on August 28, 2018 in Worcester, England. They appear charged with conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm over an acid attack on a three-year-old child on July 21 at Home Bargains on Shrub Hill Retail Park, Tallow Hill, Worcester. (Photo by Anthony Devlin/Getty Images)
Short was sentenced at Worcester Crown Court. (Anthony Devlin/Getty Images)

When Short lost control, he crashed into Johnson, who was driving on the correct side of the road, and ended up in a field.

His passenger managed to free himself and Short was cut out of the Audi by firefighters.

Short received severe injuries, including broken bones and internal bleeding which kept him in intensive care for five days. His passenger was also badly injured.

Johnson suffered injuries to her skull and spine, the court heard, and probably died instantly in the impact.

Short was drinking in Flyford Flavell. (Google Maps)
Short was drinking in Flyford Flavell. (Google Maps)

Speaking to police, Short insisted he could not recall the crash and said he had had just two pints to drink.

Matthew Barnes, prosecuting, said photos and videos on Short’s phone showed examples of his driving, including one instance at 120-130mph, and branded him a “notoriously bad” motorist.

He had been cautioned by police in Worcester two months earlier for driving erratically and fast, Barnes said, and just avoided crashing earlier in the day the fatal incident took place.

In a statement read out in court, Jamie Mackie, Johnson’s partner, said his life was “ripped apart” by her death and that he had become the sole parent of their children, leaving him unable to work.

A fundraiser has been set up online to help him.

Colin Johnson, Nicola’s father, said: “I will never understand and cannot accept how someone so young could drive a high-performance car in such a dangerous manner.”

David Sapiecha, defending, said the crash was “foolish” but that Short had shown remorse and realised what he had done.

After Short’s sentencing, in which he was also banned from driving for three years and told to take an extensive motoring test when he leaves prison, Johnson’s family released a statement.

“Nick was the axis around which our Johnson family revolved here in Crowle where she grew up,” it said.

“We miss her and her girls bursting through the door every day, so full of laughter and energy.

"No one will ever replace her as a loving and caring daughter to us, sister to her brother Dan and a perfect mommy to her two little girls Eleanor and Alice.”

It added: “We as her family are pleased the police did an excellent job in their investigation in showing that Nick was entirely blameless and had no time to react in a catastrophic crash where mercifully she died instantly in the reckless act of a young man driving a high performance vehicle at speed.”

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