Drunk driver jailed for cousin s death
Allan Arthur Ryder, 31, was almost five times the legal alcohol limit when he crashed his V8 Commodore.

A drunk driver who killed his cousin while trying to flee police has been jailed for 11 years and banned from driving for life.

Allan Arthur Ryder, 31, had a blood alcohol reading 0.247 - almost five times the legal limit - when he sped away from police in a high-powered V8 Commodore, reaching speeds of up to 169kmh, before he ploughed into a tree and a power pole in Northam on November 2, 2012.

His 20-year-old cousin, who was a passenger in the car, died in the crash. Another passenger, who survived the crash, described how he thought he was going to die.

Ryder pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing death and was jailed for 11 years in Perth District Court this morning.

District Court Judge Allan Fenbury said Ryder had been hooning around Northam on the afternoon before the crash.

Judge Fenbury said Ryder, who was trying to escape police, was very intoxicated, speeding and was in a very powerful vehicle and had "greatly endangered lives", including those of his two passengers.

"They were trapped by your behaviour and you should be ashamed," he told Ryder.

"Those who ruin lives in this way can expect no mercy from the courts."

Prosecutor David Davidson argued for Ryder to receive a lengthy jail term, saying the offending was close to the worst category.

He said the offences were viewed very seriously - carrying a maximum penalty of 20 years' jail.

Ryder's defence lawyer told the court his client was remorseful.

In a written apology read in court, Ryder said he was sorry for letting his family down and he would have to live the guilt for the rest of his life.

In jailing Ryder for 11 years, Judge Fenbury noted that it was impossible to place a value on human life.

He disqualified Ryder from driving for life.

Ryder, whose sentence was backdated to November, will be eligible for parole after serving nine years.

The West Australian

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