Thompson, who had been smoking marijuana the night of the crash, was found guilty of third-degree murder, homicide by vehicle, fleeing the scene, driving under the influence, and related offenses.
"Life means life, and he is not getting out," prosecutor Geoff Paine said.
Thompson apologized to Taylor's and McNeill's families, but relatives turned their backs on him at the sentencing.
The former cook, who did not attend high school and was 13 when he started abusing drugs, said he did not see the victims and had been unable to forgive himself.
"I messed up, and I didn't mean to hurt those kids," Thompson told Judge Gregory M. Mallon in a plea for leniency.
As the victims' relatives came forward and told the court the impact the deaths had on their lives, Eileen Taylor, Michael's mother, put her arms around Missy McNeill, Mark's mother. The two locked in a fierce embrace, McNeill's body shaking with silent sobs. A picture of the two boys was clutched in Taylor's hand.
Louis Orsatti described feeling powerless and distraught as he saw McNeill, his grandson, in a hospital bed bleeding out of his eyes, ears, and nose hours from death.
Mark McNeill, who had three siblings, was described as a protective and caring brother who loved hockey, pets, and video games. His last Facebook post was "Love Life," Orsatti said.
Eileen Taylor said her son, the youngest of three, was looking forward to getting his driver's license and hunting license. He planned to join the Air Force.
Eileen Taylor's last memory of her son was of him walking away with Mark McNeill.
"Little did I know he was walking away forever," she said.
Eileen Taylor and Missy McNeill have been friends since their sons were in first grade. Now, they said, they "are sisters of a different kind."
"You can't describe what you're feeling," Missy McNeill said. "She knows it."
The two said the sentencing would not give back to them what they would want most - their sons. But Thompson's life imprisonment will give them a measure of consolation in knowing that it might spare another family their pain, they said.
Said Eileen Taylor, "We wanted to make sure this never happened again."
Contact Mari A. Schaefer at 610-313-8111, email@example.com or @MariSchaefer on Twitter.