A MAN who drove at more than 100mph before smashing into a tree and killing his friend has been jailed.

Barry Smart, 37, was driving his BMW and made the "reckless and irresponsible" decision to overtake another vehicle, a court heard.

He lost control and smashed into a tree after driving off the A30 at Water End.

Kirsty Saunders, 30, suffered life-threating injuries and was taken to Southampton Generel Hospital but died three days later.

Smart was taken to hospital in a critical condition but recovered, and has now pleaded guilty to causing Miss Saunders' death by dangerous driving.

Winchester Crown Court heard that Smart had taken the vehicle without the owner's consent before the crash on June 24, 2016, and had consumed enough alcohol "to have likely affected his ability to drive".

Speaking after the sentencing, PC Claire Miller said: “Once again we found ourselves investigating a fatal collision which was totally avoidable.

“Smart made a catalogue of reckless and irresponsible decisions that night which ultimately led to the death of his friend.

“Had he just stopped to realise how dangerous his actions were, then Kirsty would still be alive today and her family would not be forced to live on without her.

“Instead he has to live the rest of his life knowing that he is responsible for the death of his friend.

“I hope that this case acts as a warning to other motorists that these risks are not worth taking. The consequences can be fatal, as this collision has proven.”

Smart, of Pemerton Road, Basingstoke, was jailed for five years and banned from driving for seven and a half years.