Three years in jail for teenager who killed friend in crash while driving DRUNK at 101mph and PLAYING with his stereo

  • Joseph Salah-Eldin, 19, lost control of car as he fixed the sound system
  • Vehicle then careered off the road and overturned in a field
  • Crash killed David Powell, 20, instantly and injured two other passengers
  • Salah-Eldin was almost twice the drink-drive limit at time of crash
  • Has been jailed for three years four months and banned from driving

By Daily Mail Reporter


A teenager has been jailed for just three years after killing his friend in a horrific crash after crashing into a field where he rolled his car after driving at speeds of up to 101mph.

David Powell, 20, was killed when Joseph Salah-Eldin, 19, drove his Vauxhall Corsa near Kings Lynn in Norfolk last September.

A court heard Salah-Eldin, who had only been driving for a couple of months, was almost twice the drink drive limit and was changing the radio when his car careered off the road and overturned.

It killed Mr Powell instantly and left two other passengers with injuries.

Joseph Salah-Eldin
David Powell, 20

Horror:  Drunk teenage driver Joseph Salah-Eldin, left, was doing up to 101mph in a 40mph zone when he smashed into a field and killed his best friend David Powell, 20, right

Yesterday, Salah-Eldin was jailed for three years four months. He was also banned from driving for five years after he admitted causing death by careless driving when unfit through drink.


After seeing Salah-Eldin jailed yesterday, Mr Powell's grief-stricken family gave a statement. 'Sudden car crash tragedies, caused by speeding and alcohol, devastate families and change lives forever.

'No-one can foresee the impact of the loss, grief, anger, bewilderment and heartbreak of losing a loved one so suddenly.

'Cars, alcohol and young men are a lethal combination and young drivers and passengers need to be aware of the destruction this can cause - not only to those involved in collisions, but the families and loved ones left behind.

New driver: Salah-Eldin had passed his test just two months before he caused the crash. His wrecked Vauxhall Corsa is pictured following the incident

New driver: Salah-Eldin had passed his test just two months before he caused the crash. His wrecked Vauxhall Corsa is pictured following the incident

'Our family has been robbed of its future, our son robbed of his life - so many dreams and plans unfulfilled.'

The catastrophic crash happened just after midnight on the A149 at Heacham, near King's Lynn.

Prosecutor Chris Youell said Salah-Eldin, of Dersingham, lost control about 60 metres into a 40mph zone

Mr Youell said: 'The only vehicle in the area at that time was the vehicle being driven by the defendant.

'There was no reason for that vehicle to leave the road at that time other than the admitted careless driving of the defendant.'

He said Salah-Eldin had only passed his test at the third attempt two months before the crash.

Mr Youell said he was travelling at an 'excessive speed' and 'adjusting the sound system in the car' at the time.

Salah-Eldin swerved across the road before hitting a pavement, hedge and repeatedly rolling before ending up on its roof in a field.

Mr Powell, a back seat passenger, suffered a head injury and died instantly. Another friend in the car sustained bruising and a broken finger and another a broken nose.

Justice: Mr Powell's family are pictured leaving court after seeing Salah-Eldin jailed yesterday

Justice: Mr Powell's family are pictured leaving court after seeing Salah-Eldin jailed yesterday

Mr Youell said Salah-Eldin, who suffered a dislocated shoulder, was believed to be driving between 74mph and 101mph when he crashed.

He said he had been drinking with friends at Dersingham Social Club earlier that fateful night.
Salah-Eldin was breath tested by police and had 65mcg of alcohol in 100mls of breath. The legal limit is 35.

Jailing him at Norwich Crown Court, judge Stephen Holt told him: 'No words I can say will possibly help the friends and family. It's an utter tragedy that has occurred.'

The judge added: 'It's said time and time again in these courts that young drivers who speed cause these sort of terrible events which ruin people's lives.'

Judge Holt said that cases like this go to show 'just how dangerous it is for anyone, let alone young drivers, to be drinking'.

Mr Youell read out a statement on behalf of Mr Powell's shattered mother Margaret.

She said the family had been 'devastated' by his death.

Mr Powell was a chef at Sandringham visitors' centre and was 'proud' to have worked on the Queen's grand estate - at the request of a senior member of the royal family.

Mr Youell said the death of Mr Powell, who wanted to be a 'policeman and father', had left a 'huge hole' in the life of his family, including parents, sister and girlfriend.

Jonathan Morgans, defending, said Salah-Eldin wanted to express his 'remorse' and say sorry.

Locked up: Salah-Eldin was jailed for three years four months at Norwich Crown Court yesterday

Locked up: Salah-Eldin was jailed for three years four months at Norwich Crown Court yesterday

Mr Morgans said: 'He takes full responsibility for his actions and the result of his actions is that his best friend has died. He misses him and it's his fault. There's nothing he can do to turn back the clock but his remorse is total as is his regret.

'He has real insight into the family's loss because he shares it. To apologise can only ever be inadequate but it's heartfelt and sincere. He will have to live with the consequences of his actions forever.'

Steve Matthews, senior investigating officer with Norfolk Police Serious Collision Investigation Team, said Salah-Eldin was a newly-qualified driver.

He said that combined with alcohol and excessive speed was a 'recipe for disaster'.

Chief Inspector Chris Spinks, of Norfolk and Suffolk Roads Policing Unit, said: 'This tragic incident has had an enormous impact on the lives of all those involved, their friends and their families.

'One young man has had his life cut short, and another faces time in prison and must live with the consequences of his actions for the rest of his life. Two other young men have experienced first-hand the dangers of drinking and driving.'

Every high school and college in Norfolk is now being urged by police to educate young drivers in a bid to prevent accidents.

Salah-Eldin was told he must serve half his sentence before being released on licence.


The comments below have been moderated in advance.

They really must stop kids who have only just passed their tests taking passengers. The boys, especially, get distracted, show off, and often haven't really had much,experience of all the things that can crop up on the roads. Often they pass the Driving Test quite quickly and easily, and then they think they know it all and don't have to bother sticking to correct driving.

Click to rate     Rating   3

This is not justice it's a joke 10 years minimum in jail not at home with a tag on lifetime ban from driving that might come close. Our justice system needs to wake up, Build new prisons fill them up and make the prisoners work to pay their way.

Click to rate     Rating   1

The poor parents of the boy who died know in the UK his life was only worth 3 years and 4 months!!! Shame on our Justice system!!!

Click to rate     Rating   6

NO! Unbelievable sentence. The judge should be disbarred. The defendant should get life for this.

Click to rate     Rating   3

I live just up the road from this accident, and it is not unusual. There are a select few around here that drive like idiots and there have been many deaths of teenagers killed on the road. The road he was driving down is a 40mph limit, yet he was going at 101mp. I work with his friends and they feel sorry for him! They went out for a last booze up before he was sentenced. Says it all really.

Click to rate     Rating   2

I believe that when such cases come before courts and inquests the guilty driver's driving training course records should be produced in evidence and examined to establish whether the full training syllabus was followed, or whether a 'short cut' path was taken simply in order to pass the driving test. Such records should be retained by the DSA for at least 5 years after completion of the course and the test passed. Should a pattern of careless driving be identified and matched to a particular driving instructor's former learner drivers, then an investigation should be launched immediately.

Click to rate     Rating   1

So that settles it does it? - A life is only worth 3 years? - what sort of justice is that for the family? - "Human Rights? - time the UK judiciary started acting like they should, not like a bunch of half baked "do gooder" wimps!

Click to rate     Rating   3

Another JOKE sentence!

Click to rate     Rating   3

Haven't you heard. If you want to kill someone (wife, enemy, etc) the best way to do it is to drink a few drinks then drive and cause an accident that kills them. Then you'll only get a couple of years as opposed to life. At least that is how it appears by the sentences these drunk drivers get. It's nothing but a joke.

Click to rate     Rating   5

My youngest brither was crossing a road when he was killed by a drunk driver who came round a blind bend on the wrong side of the road...Drunk driver got 4yrs and 5yr driving ban...He got the sentence reduced on appeal to 4 yrs and served 1yr on total...The driving ban is a joke because the ban started on the day of the sentence although the driver cannot drive while in prison...for example if someone has a 5yr ban and spends 3yrs in prison then when released he only has 2yrs left on his ban...absolutely ridiculous...My thoughts are with the family of the young man who passed away so needlessly...

Click to rate     Rating   3

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