Earlier that day, Stokes was seen driving the Peugeot erratically in a leisure centre car park with two young children in the vehicle.
And moments before the fatal incident, other road users saw the car being driven “at speed” along the A1068 before she had to slow for a line of traffic.
After Stokes, from Cario Street, Sunderland but originally from County Derry, then carried out a U-turn and headed off in the opposite direction, one driver commented the car was sure to hit something.
Another driver, who swerved out of her way, felt she must have been in a police pursuit, such was the manner of her driving.
Stokes tried to overtake a vehicle, lost control and crashed into the van around half a mile away from the U-turn site.
People who stopped to help were confronted with seven casualties – six from the Peugeot and one from the van it hit, Mr Bennett said.
The van driver was rushed to hospital and had to remain left immobile for three months while he recovered from injuries to his wrist, sternum and toes.
Stokes was also trapped, having suffered serious leg injuries, and she now requires crutches to walk.
David Outterside, defending, said Stokes was “bereft” at the loss of her daughter and cousin.
Once an “effervescent character”, she was now suffering from “crippling depression and grief”, he said.
She was a teenage mother, married at 16 although the relationship was now over, and will remain vulnerable following the crash, he said.
Judge James Adkin said she appeared to have focused on giving the occupants a thrill, throwing them around in the car, rather than “shielding them from harm”.
He told Stokes: “There is evidence you were showing off to the passengers in your car that day.”
And he said: “This was persistent and it was deliberate bad driving.”
Outside court, Sergeant Cat Iley said: “This was a horrific incident for all those involved, including the emergency service workers who attended the scene.
“Our thoughts remain with the family and friends of the two girls who tragically lost their lives in this collision.”