23-year-old Ethan Wells-Smith of Darley, Harrogate
23-year-old Ethan Wells-Smith of Darley, Harrogate

Two and a half years in prison for Harrogate man following dangerous driving that left three injured

21 March 2017

A man has been handed a two year and six month prison sentence after causing a serious traffic collision on the A59 near to Menwith Hill.

23-year-old Ethan Wells-Smith of Darley, Harrogate, appeared at York Crown Court today (21 March 2017) where he gave a  guilty plea to:

  • Driving whilst over the prescribed limit for alcohol
  • Driving whilst disqualified
  • Causing injury by dangerous driving
  • Aggravated vehicle taking
  • Burglary

Wells-Smith stole a Mercedes Sprinter van from a property in Darley earlier that Sunday evening. Whilst consuming two cans of beer behind the wheel and attempting to retrieve his mobile phone, which had fallen into the van’s foot well, Wells-Smith crashed the van into two vehicles – a Toyota Corolla and an Isuzu D-Max, seriously injuring the drivers and passengers of both vehicles.

Wells-Smith, who was unhurt in the collision, then left the vehicle and the scene of the crash, having made no attempt to call emergency services for help. Thanks to eagle-eyed witnesses who saw the direction he ran in, officers located and arrested him five minutes later.

  • The 48-year-old male driver of the Corolla was taken to Leeds General Hospital with broken ribs, sternum and cheek bone.
  • The 72-year-old driver of the Isuzu was taken to Harrogate District Hospital with lacerations to his head and tongue and internal bleeding.
  • His 69-year-old passenger suffered cuts to her shins. All have since been discharged from hospital.


Detective Constable Quita Passmore of the Harrogate Investigation Hub said:

Wells-Smith acted completely selfishly that night. He paid no regard to the safety of any other road users and chose to drive in a dangerous and irrational manner. The fact that he then went on to leave the scene of the crash without any thought to the people he had caused serious injury to, only adds further insult.

I hope the sentence that has been handed to him today provides some level of closure to his innocent victims who have since been recovering from the serious injuries his behaviour inflicted upon them.

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