A man from Nelson has been jailed after admitting to causing the death of his friend by careless driving while under the influence of drugs.

Irslaan Nowkhaiz died in September 2021 after the car he was in, which was being driven by Mohammed Waqas, lost control and crashed into a tree.

At around 1.23am on Wednesday, September 29, 2021, Waqas, was driving his white Audi A4 on the M65 between junctions 11 and 12 at Brierfield with his friend Irslaan in the passenger seat.

It was raining heavily, he was driving at around 80mph, and both men were not wearing seatbelts.

After hitting a puddle of standing water, the car aquaplaned and Waqas lost control of the vehicle, with it hitting a tree and landing on its roof.

The passenger, Mr Nowkhaiz, suffered serious head injuries and died from the impact.

Waqas was nine times over the legal limit for benzoylecgonine (BZE, a cocaine breakdown product) and had also consumed cocaine and cannabis.

He also shouldn’t have been driving due to a pre-existing medical condition.

Despite this, that night he chose to drive whilst under the influence of drugs and in a way that was not suitable for the road conditions.

PC Kate Brady, of Lancashire Police’s serious collisions investigation unit, said: “First and foremost, our condolences remain with Irslaan’s family.

"Waqas was driving at an inappropriate speed for the conditions on the M65 in heavy rain, he shouldn’t have been driving due to an existing medical condition, was driving under the influence of drugs, and had no insurance or MOT.

“As a result of his reckless behaviour, his friend lost his life on that tragic night.

"We take offences of this nature extremely seriously, and hope that this jail sentence will deter others from committing such terrible offences.”

After initially submitting a not guilty plea, Waqas changed his plea to guilty to the offence of causing death by careless driving while over the prescribed limit and causing death whilst uninsured. 

Mohammed Waqas, of Rhoda Street, Nelson, was jailed for four years and three months at Preston Crown Court, on June 4 and disqualified from driving for five years and three months.