Girlfriend left 'covered in blood and hysterical' by killer driver who 'didn't seem to care'
A woman whose boyfriend was crushed to death by a drunk 7.5 tonne camper van driver left his girlfriend “covered in blood and hysterical with grief.” Three times over the limit Adam Kershaw ploughed his crudely-converted truck into a Peugeot carrying Merseyside man Joseph Keane and his partner Alyssa Henderson. The unlicensed and uninsured 29-year-old, who had gone on a chaotic 28-mile drive, was on the wrong side of the road when he effectively “drove over” his victim.
Yesterday, Kershaw was jailed for nine years after a judge described his driving in North Yorkshire as the “worst he had ever encountered in his court career.”
New details of the shocking case have now emerged including how Kershaw smashed into a stone bridge and even narrowly avoided a collision with a coach containing 60 schoolchildren during his journey. Mr Keane, 28, from Billinge, was celebrating his birthday, and had visited beauty spot Ingleton Falls in Yorkshire, before the tragedy happened on the A65.
The crudely converted camper van Adam Kershaw was driving (Image: nyorkspolice)
Miss Henderson, who lived with Mr Keane and his parents at their home, said in a Victim Impact Statement: “Little did I know this would be our last time together. “A happy day turned into the worst day of my life.”
Terry Keane, Joseph’s dad, called for stricter jail sentences for reckless drivers who kill.
He described losing his son as “devastating” and said Kershaw’s actions were “appalling.” Mr Keane added: “We simply cannot comprehend how someone could drive in such a reckless and selfish manner. “There were a number of near misses that day including a coach carrying many children before the tragic collision that caused the death of our son Joseph.
Adam Kershaw, jailed for nine years for causing the death by dangerous driving of budding lawyer Joseph Keane (Image: nyorkspolice)
“…we miss Joe every day and will continue to miss him every day for the rest of our lives.
“He was dearly loved by his family and friends and our hearts are broken.” Kershaw was travelling from his home in Mytholmroyd, West Yorkshire, to the Beat-Herder Festival in Sawley, Lancashire, on July 13, 2018 after spending the previous night drinking and taking ketamine with friends.
He did not have a licence to drive the van, which he had converted into an “unsafe” camper van with no restraints for the driver or rear passengers, and his insurance was not valid. Jonathan Sharp, prosecuting, told the court that a number of other road users called 999 to report Kershaw’s driving.
He said: “The observed manner of his driving was consistent with him being highly intoxicated throughout and a back calculation confirmed that he was extremely drunk.”
Shane Hughes who led police on a 37 miles chase in a decommissioned ambulance after his friend Adam Kershaw killed St Helens passenger Joseph Keane (Image: nyorkspolice)
Mr Sharp said the collision with the bridge left a door to the rear of the van hanging open. But Kerhaw ignored his passengers’ panic and pleas to stop and “didn’t seem to care.” The court heard that Kershaw did nothing to help at the scene and did not speak to Miss Henderson, who was “covered in blood and hysterical with grief”.
Mr Sharp said the van tipped onto two wheels after the defendant took a corner at a speed of up to 55mph, before its full weight dropped on to the car, crushing it and effectively driving over it.
Sentencing Kershaw, judge Jonathan Rose told him: “I find this case to be the worst case of dangerous driving it has been my misfortune to come across. “Over a distance of at least 28 miles your driving was utterly dreadful, appalling and highly dangerous to every other road user who had the misfortune to be on the same road as you. “You were drunk.
You were incapable of controlling this very large, very heavy vehicle. “You had no reason to be driving as you did. It was all done because you were in drink.”
Imran Khan, mitigating for dad-of-two Kershaw, said the defendant was “disgusted” about what he had done and had stopped both driving and drinking since the collision. He read a letter from Kershaw, expressing his “deepest apologies” to the family.
The motorist, who had been driving in convoy with his friend Shane Hughes, who was jailed at an earlier date, who was at the wheel of a decommissioned ambulance which smashed into a railway crossing and was almost destroyed by a train travelling at 70mph which missed it by inches. Kershaw pleaded guilty to causing Mr Keane’s death by dangerous driving on July 13, 2018, at Bradford Crown Court.
He also admitted possessing drugs on the same day as the crash, was ecstasy and ketamine was found in his possession.
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Mr Keane worked as a paralegal and was on course to qualify as a solicitor. Kershaw was banned from driving for 11 years and six months. The court heard that he had previous convictions for drink-driving and speeding.
Wearing a fabric headband, a beige checked jacket, beige trousers and beige tie, he sat in the dock flanked by two dock officers throughout the hearing.
He occasionally looked at the ground as details about the incident were told to the court but showed no emotion as he was sentenced.
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