AN “extremely drunk” driver who crushed a car and killed its passenger after driving a 7.5-tonne van in an “utterly dreadful, appalling and highly dangerous” way over 28 miles has been jailed for nine years.

Adam Kershaw, 29, was nearly three times over the limit when he lost control of the “crudely converted” camper vehicle and Bradford Crown Court heard that he “effectively drove over” the Peugeot 107 on the A65 near Ingleton in North Yorkshire.

It left passenger Joseph Keane with fatal head injuries on his 28th birthday.

Kershaw had been seen swerving across the road into the path of oncoming vehicles, hitting a stone bridge at Coniston Cold causing more than £3,000 damage, and narrowly avoiding a collision with a coach containing 60 schoolchildren.

Police said Kershaw had three passengers in the Mercedes horsebox,which he had crudely adapted into a campervan, two of which were in the rear of the vehicle being carried dangerously on a sofa which had been nailed to the floor.

He pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving, causing death while uninsured and unlicensed and possession of Ecstasy, DMT and ketamine.

Sitting at Bradford Crown Court, Judge Jonathan Rose told Kershaw, of Booth Street, Cleckheaton: “It is the worst case of dangerous driving it has been my misfortune to come across throughout my career at the Bar and on the Bench.”

“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.”

Prosecutor Jonathan Sharp said Kershaw was travelling from Mytholmroyd to the Beat-Herder Festival in Sawley, Lancashire, on July 13, 2018 after spending the previous night drinking and taking ketamine.

He did not have a licence to drive the van and his insurance was not valid.

Mr Sharp said the collision with the bridge left a door to the rear of the van hanging open but Kershaw ignored his passengers’ panic and pleas to stop and “didn’t seem to care”.

Kershaw approached the Peugeot, driven by Mr Keane’s girlfriend, student veterinary nurse, Alyssa Henderson, out of control and on the wrong side of the road.

The van tipped on to two wheels after he 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.

Judge Rose said: “You drove over that car, you crushed it and, in so doing, you killed Joseph Keane.“You brought great sadness, darkness and suffering to all who knew and loved Joseph Keane.”

He continued: “What’s evident from each of the four victim impact statements is the devastation that Joseph’s death brought upon his friends and family and how their lives have been ruined by his utterly senseless and unnecessary death.”

Kershaw was banned from driving for 11-and-a-half yearsand was told he will have to pass an extended driving test before he can drive again.

He had previous convictions for drink-driving and speeding.

Bearded and wearing a fabric headband, a beige checked jacket, beige trousers and beige tie, he showed no emotion as he was sentenced.

After the crash, Kershaw’s friend, Shane Hughes, who was driving in convoy with him in a decommissioned ambulance, was pursued by the police until he crashed on the level crossing at Kildwick near Skipton.

A high-speed passenger train avoided the ambulance by millimetres after the 37-mile chase along the A65 at up to 92mph, involving several patrol cars and the police helicopter.

Hughes, 42, of Ramsgate Street, Halifax, narrowly missed oncoming vehicles, drove on the wrong side of the road and went the wrong way round a roundabout.

He was jailed for 22 months by Judge Rose in November last year after pleading guilty to dangerous driving, obstructing the railway line, driving while disqualified and without insurance and failing to provide a specimen for analysis.