Footage captured the moment a "selfish" driver sped the wrong way on the M25 in Hertfordshire, before crashing and killing two people. 

Barancan Nurcin, 22, has been handed an 18 year prison sentence - the longest sentence ever imposed for death by dangerous driving - after speeding the wrong way down the busy motorway without a licence in a stolen vehicle.

At around 3.40am on February 4, police were alerted to a white Citroen Dispatch van which had been reported as stolen.

They found the stolen van on the M1 travelling southbound, where it failed to stop and a police pursuit was authorised.

A few minutes later, the van dangerously took an emergency access road off the main carriageway, heading back on the motorway – this time travelling towards oncoming traffic.

The van was then spotted by officers in Breakspear Way, Hemel Hempstead, where it again failed to stop for officers.

A short time later the van was seen by police travelling on the wrong side of the M25.

At around 4.08am the van collided with a silver DFSK 580 Glory - between Junction 21a for St Albans and Junction 22 for London Colney - and tragically passenger Zoe Hawes died at the scene.

Mrs Hawes, 39, from Essex, had been travelling to Luton Airport to go on holiday for her 40th birthday with her husband.

Zoe HawesZoe Hawes (Image: Hertfordshire Police)

Her husband sustained broken bones all over his body, severe damage to his face and bleeding to the brain, so was placed in a medically induced coma.

He suffered memory loss due to sedatives and had to be repeatedly told that his beloved wife had died.

Two other vehicles - a silver Skoda Superb and a black Peugeot 5008 – collided with debris, causing five people to sustain injuries.

Nurcin made off from the scene, leaving behind his friend Fahad Dek, 23, who was deceased in the passenger seat.

Officers located Nurcin nearby and he was taken to hospital with serious injuries - later being arrested at hospital before being taken into custody.

It quickly emerged that his driving license had already been revoked after an incident in 2021 where he was caught driving on cannabis.

Jailed - Barancan NurcinJailed - Barancan Nurcin (Image: Essex Police)

On Tuesday March 26, Nurcin, from Tottenham, pleaded guilty to two counts of causing death by dangerous driving, causing death whilst unlicensed, causing death whilst uninsured and four of causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

He was sentenced on Friday at St Albans Crown Court to 18 years in prison.

Chief Inspector Steve O’Keeffe, from the RPU, said: “Although nothing can make up for the pain Nurcin has caused, I am pleased with today’s result. Nurcin’s actions have had catastrophic consequences causing the deaths of two innocent people.

"Many more lives have also been destroyed through the trauma and heartache he has caused. The impact of this dreadful collision cannot be overstated and my thoughts are with the victims’ loved ones.

“Zoe Hawes was a much loved mother and grandmother whose life was cruelly cut short because of Nurcin. Zoe’s husband will require intensive therapy for a long period of time to assist with physical movement, communication and cognitive skills. He currently has no sight in one of his eyes.

“Fahad Dek was just twenty-three, with his whole life ahead of him. He was described by his family as a pillar of strength and they dearly miss him.

“That Nurcin left Fahad in the vehicle, whilst trying to evade officers, speaks volumes of his character.

“Nurcin had plenty of opportunity to safely pull over for police. Instead, he ignored our officers and made the incomprehensible decision to drive towards oncoming traffic, knowingly putting the public at risk.

“I hope today’s result goes some way in easing the pain of all those affected by the utterly selfish and dangerous actions of Nurcin.”