A drink-driver who caused the deaths of two teenage friends as he drove them home from a party has been ordered to be detained for 42 months.
Logan Russell was 17 when his Vauxhall Corsa left the road and collided with a tree in Fife.
Ethan King, 17, died at the scene. Connor Aird, also 17, died later in hospital. A third passenger, Daniel Stevens, suffered serious injuries and spent a week in hospital.
Russell, now 20, managed to get out of the vehicle and told witnesses who went to their aid: “Help my friends. Can you get them out the car? It’s all my fault.”
On Tuesday, a judge told Russell that he should have known the risks of driving after consuming alcohol and with a limited amount of sleep.
Lord Boyd of Duncansby said that if he was going to drink, he should not have taken the car, and added: “What happened here should be a warning for others.
“The victims are not just those who have died, but those left to grieve.”
He told Russell, who was also banned from driving for four years, that if he had been a mature adult offender he would have jailed him for six to seven years for the offence.
Russell, from Leslie in Fife, earlier admitted causing the deaths by careless driving while over the drink-drive limit.
He had previously faced a charge of causing the deaths by dangerous driving on the A915 Standing Stane Road at Windygates, Fife, on November 11, 2018.
The High Court in Edinburgh heard that he had held a full driving licence for just 55 days when the fatal collision occurred after he lost control of the car.
Advocate depute Leanne McQuillan said that on the evening of November 10, 2018, into the early hours of the next day Russell and his passengers had attended a party at a girl’s home in Windygates.
The prosecutor said: “The accused was seen by various guests to be drinking alcohol throughout the course of the evening as were the other guests.”
She said about 8.15am the girl’s father got up and noticed four youths were still in the garden and went out and told them it was time to leave.
He was uncomfortable about them leaving in a car and went to speak to them. He thought the passengers seemed drunk, but Russell did not and he drove off.
The collision happened about 20 minutes later as Russell headed in the direction of Kirkcaldy. Two motorists were driving behind Russell’s Corsa.
The advocate depute said: “The witnesses described the car drifting gradually to the right, crossing the centre line into the opposing carriageway.
“No one saw the brake lights illuminate. The vehicle then left the roadway, struck a wooden post and fence, entered a field and collided with a tree.”
Witnesses saw smoke and stopped, and the emergency services were alerted.
As they approached the vehicle they saw Russell walk around from the driver’s side as he made a plea to help his friends.
He told police he was the driver and gave a positive breath test. A blood sample was later analysed and found to contain 118 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood. The legal limit in Scotland is 50 milligrams of alcohol.
‘He will live with it for the rest of his life’
Mr King was found to have died after sustaining significant head trauma. Mr Aird died on November 16 as a result of chest and head injuries.
Mr Stevens suffered fractured bones but made a full recovery, although suffers occasional pain in a leg. The court heard he remembers nothing of the crash or the party.
Defence solicitor advocate Iain Paterson, for Russell, said: “He made a clear error to drive that morning – a dreadful error of judgement – and he understands that.
“There was a lapse in concentration, as he accepts, which led to this tragic accident.
“He does accept absolutely that he is going to be sent into custody today and he hopes that brings some solace to the families because he is deeply remorseful about what has happened.
“He will live with it for the rest of his life.”