Joseph Weston’s souped-up Ford Fiesta collided head-on with Luke Winter’s Citroen after he “lost control”, sending his car slewing across the central reservation.
Weston (22), was “showing off” in the moments before the impact, Mr Justice Griffith Williams told London’s Appeal Court, and was negotiating the road’s tight bends at great speed.
One expert estimated he was doing up to 90mph in the 50mph speed zone before the crash, the court heard, while a taxi driver who saw him described how he “shot off like lightning” from traffic lights.
Another witness said his car seemed to be ‘flying’ down the road, while yet another termed his driving “aggressive” as he approached Cuckney Hill, near Church Warsop, where he lost control.
Mr Winter (24), whose partner was expecting their baby when he died, was killed in the impact.
A passenger in Weston’s car suffered a fractured sternum and was left physically and mentally scarred.
Weston himself also sustained fractures in the accident and has no memory of the August 2012 tragedy.
Mr Justice Griffith Williams, sitting with Lord Justice Aikens and Mr Justice Turner, said Mr Winter’s family had been devastated by their loss.
Victim impact statements submitted to the court by his family made harrowing and moving reading, said the judge, who added: “Mr Winter was killed shortly before the birth of a daughter who will never know her father”.
Weston, of Longdale Lane, Ravenshead was jailed for five years at Nottingham Crown Court in July last year after he admitted causing death by dangerous driving. He was also banned from driving for five years.
But his case reached the Appeal Court as Weston successfully challenged his sentence, which the court cut by eight months - also substituting a four-year driving ban.
Mr Justice Griffith Williams said the sentencing judge had found that Weston was “showing off to his passenger” before he crashed.
The treacherous road needed “careful handling” and Weston took the bends “far too fast”.
But the appeal judge noted Weston’s “genuine remorse” and concluded that the sentence was excessive. “The sentence should be 52 months,” he concluded.