A professional British soccer player was sentenced to more than seven years in jail Monday for causing the deaths of two young brothers in a car crash this summer.
Luke McCormick, 25, was driving under the influence of alcohol when his black Range Rover collided with a family car on the highway, killing 10-year-old Arron Peak and his little brother Ben, 8.
The Peak brothers, from Manchester, U.K., were on the way for a day out at Britain's Silverstone racetrack when they were hit by the Plymouth Argyle goalkeeper — who was driving home from a teammate’s wedding.
The boys’ father, Phil, who was behind the wheel, was seriously injured and now uses a wheelchair.
Members of the Peak family holding pictures of the boys today angrily confronted the soccer player outside Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court.
McCormick was sentenced to seven years and four months in jail today after he pleaded guilty to causing deaths by dangerous driving and a charge of driving with excess alcohol.
The charges carried a maximum sentence of 14 years behind bars.
The custodial sentence will end the career of the player, whose contract with the Championship team has already been terminated.
McCormick is a former England youth international who was twice voted Argyle’s young player of the season.
After breaking into the Plymouth first team McCormick helped to launch a road safety campaign with police at Argyle’s training ground, urging motorists not to use mobile phones while driving.
A weeping Amanda Peak, the boys’ mother, was in court for the sentencing holding a child's toy and a photograph of her sons as she listened to a statement read out on behalf of the family.
“Both Phil and I are devastated at the sudden and tragic death of our two beautiful boys, Arron and Ben," the statement said. “No parent should ever have to go through the nightmare we have gone through.
“Arron was my eldest son, loved life and especially football at which he excelled. Ben was a happy loving son and brother and nothing will ever compensate us for the loss we are feeling.”