A speeding driver who killed a woman and seriously injured her husband has been jailed for almost five years.

William Kennedy went at more than 100mph to try and catch a ferry in July 2018.

The 48-year-old ended up on the wrong side of the road and smashed into a car in which Patricia and Robert McIlwraith were in.

Ms McIlwraith, 49, never survived the crash on the A77 near Ballantrae, Ayrshire.

Mr McIlwraith had to be airlifted to hospital.

He suffered a broken spine, two punctured lungs and kidney damage.

There had been fears the 64-year-old may never walk again. Kennedy was yesterday jailed for four years and eight months at the High Court in Glasgow.

He had previously pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving. The charge also stated Mr McIlwraith was left severely injured and permanently impaired.

Sentencing him, Lord Burns said: “You recognised you caused the death of Mrs McIlwraith, as well as devastating and life-changing injuries to her husband.

“He has endured enormous physical and emotional pain – that will continue.”

Kennedy, of Drongan, Ayrshire, was also banned from the road for seven years and four months.

A hearing was told Kennedy had made a booking for him and three others to travel on the Cairnryan to Larne ferry on July 7, 2018. Prosecutor Greg Farrell said: “It can reasonably be inferred that at the time of the collision, he was in a hurry to make the ferry.”

Other motorists clocked him going at “grossly excessive” speeds in his Ford Ranger pick-up.

Mr Farrell added: “At 2.32pm – three minutes before the collision – Kennedy reached in excess of 100mph.”

The McIlwraiths – married for 28 years and with two daughters – had been returning from a shopping trip to Stranraer.

The couple lived in Colmonell, Ayrshire. Kennedy crashed into the McIlwraiths’ oncoming Ford Fusion.

He was said to have been going at 64mph – above the 50mph limit – at the time.

Two passing doctors rushed to help the couple.

Shop assistant Patricia was found to have died while her husband was flown to hospital in Glasgow.

A post-mortem examination revealed the mother had suffered a fatal chest injury.

Mr McIlwraith – known as Rab – spent several months in hospital.

Mr Farrell: “His mobility has been substantially impaired and he needs to use a wheelchair most of the time.

“He has had to move house to one which has been adapted. He will require significant assistance with daily living for the rest of his life.”

Mr McIlwraith, who worked as a forester, was once again at court accompanied by family.

The brave father was using crutches to help him walk. Kennedy’s QC Gordon Jackson yesterday said: “He was driving too fast trying to catch a ferry.

“It was not that important, but he did not want to let family down.

“What caused him to lose it at that point, we are not entirely sure. It was not a deliberate overtaking manoeuvre.”

Mr Jackson added Kennedy’s marriage had since broken down and he had lost his roofing business. Lord Burns said the jail-term would have been seven years, but for the guilty plea.