A SPEEDING motorist has been jailed for three years and 10 months after killing his best friend when he lost control and crashed a car he bought the day before for £100.

Uninsured learner driver Daniel Wilson, pictured right, was behind the wheel of a Renault Megane travelling between 50mph and 60mph in Plodder Lane, Farnworth, when the vehicle hit a kerb and careered into a tree.

The vehicle then rebounded and smashed into a parked van, Bolton Crown Court was told.

Former Bolton College student Latham Schofield, aged 17, of Leverhulme Avenue, Great Lever, was the driver’s side rear seat passenger and suffered such severe injuries in the collision that he died at the scene.

Wilson’s brother Dylan was in the front passenger seat and their friend Joshua Rawlinson, who was sitting behind him on the back seat, fractured his skull, but made a full recovery.

Wilson, of Mill Pond Avenue, Great Lever, was jailed at Bolton Crown Court yesterday.

Paul Fleming, defending, said: “I have spoken to the defendant’s mother and it’s plain both the defendant and she regarded Latham as one of the family.

“He was at their house on virtually a daily basis. No punishment would be such as to hurt more than losing his best friend and the responsibility he bears in that loss.”

Prosecutor Mark Kellett told the court Wilson bought the silver Megane for £100 from Metro Salvage scrapyard the day before the fatal smash.

He had smoked a cannabis joint with others before driving around with his brother, Mr Schofield and Mr Rawlinson in the car.

In the early hours of February 11 they travelled through Farnworth with the car radio blaring, the court heard.

The car reached about 60mph as he approached a bend at the junction of Bradford Road and Plodder Lane.

Wilson decided not to slow down and ended up clipping the kerb, deflecting off a tree trunk and colliding with a van.

In the moments after the crash Wilson, who was uninjured, saw Mr Schofield and Mr Rawlinson lying unresponsive in the back seat and fled to his sister’s house.

Mr Fleming said: “The loss of control that the defendant experienced was not caused by any sudden mechanical failure.”

The defendant told police in interview: “I remember coming down Plodder Lane probably going pretty fast. I remember driving and it sliding out of control.

“I should have been going slower, even slower round the corner maybe.”

Tests later showed that although Wilson had no alcohol in his blood he gave a reading of twice the driving limit for cannabis.

Wilson admitted causing Mr Schofield’s death by dangerous driving, causing Mr Rawlinson’s serious injury by dangerous driving, driving without insurance, driving without a licence, failing to stop at the scene of an accident, failing to report an accident and failing to have a valid MOT certificate.

Recorder of Bolton Judge Timothy Clayson sentenced Wilson to three years and 10 months in jail for killing Mr Schofield and a concurrent 18-month prison term for injuring Mr Rawlinson.

He imposed no separate penalties for other offences and disqualified him from driving for four years and 10 months.

Jailing the 18-year-old, the judge told Wilson: “Your friend Latham died at the scene. It has inevitably had a profound effect on his family.

“No sentence I can pass can remedy their loss. In any view this is a tragic case.”