A DRINK and drug driver who was jailed after a crash which killed his friend has died in prison.

Investigations are underway into the death of Tyrone Quinn, who was jailed for six years in 2016 after he admitted to causing death by dangerous driving.

James Docherty, 17, was killed after the car Quinn was driving overturned in Gateshead.

The Northern Echo:

James Docherty, 17, who was killed in the crash

Quinn, who was 20 when he was imprisoned, died at HMP Northumberland on Monday.

A spokesperson for HMP Northumberland said: "We can confirm there was a death in custody at HMP Northumberland on Monday (14 May). The next of kin have been informed.

“Deaths in custody are a tragedy and our thoughts are with the family. As with all deaths in custody, there will be an investigation by the independent Prisons and Probation Ombudsman and therefore we are unable to comment further at this stage.”

Quinn had been drinking in Newcastle with a group of friends, including James.

In the early hours of the next morning the group got into Quinn's blue BMW 3 Series car and were caught on camera driving dangerously through the city centre.

They then made their way towards Gateshead but at the roundabout junction of the Redheugh Bridge and Askew Road, Quinn lost control causing the BMW to overturn.

Quinn was arrested by police but refused to assist their investigation and sat in silence throughout questioning.

Northumbria Police Motor Patrols officers launched an investigation and were eventually able to identify Quinn as the driver. He was later charged with causing death by dangerous driving and a number of other traffic offences.

When police arrived just after 4am they found James, who was a front seat passenger, had suffered fatal injuries.

Quinn, previously of Hewitson Terrace, Felling, Gateshead, pleaded guilty at Newcastle Crown Court and in October 2016 he was jailed for six years and nine months.

The court heard when he smashed the powerful BMW he had been drinking alcohol and was more than three times over the drug drive limit for cocaine.

James Docherty's mother, Rachel, read a victim impact statement in court as Quinn watched on from the dock.

In it she paid tribute to James who had just left school to start a career as a bricklayer.

She said: "The whole situation does not yet feel real to me. I have mixed emotions of sadness, anger and overall disbelief that James is gone.

"James was 17-years-old when he was taken from us. It is such a waste of a young man who had a positive future ahead of him. There is a sense of emptiness without his presence.

"I often see Ian (James' father) getting upset and he regularly asks the same question that only Tyrone Quinn can answer: ‘Why would you drive a car when you’re under the influence of drink and drugs?’

"I understand Tyrone Quinn has not assisted the police during their investigation. This has added to our family’s grief, I cannot understand why Tyrone would not help the police investigate the death of his supposed friend.

"His refusal to give any account during police interviews has left us in the dark when all we want is to understand how James was taken from us.

"There is no sentence which could make up for my son being taken away. What I want is to have James back but that isn’t going to happen."