Aaron Kingsley jailed for crash that killed Sophie Harrison, of Faversham
A teenager from Kent has been jailed for two years for
crashing his father's Land Rover, killing a close friend.
Aaron Kingsley, 19, was driving his father's Discovery with five
friends as passengers when he lost control on a roundabout in
Canterbury, doing an estimated 43-54mph.
It rolled over and Faversham girl Sophie Harrison, 18, was
thrown through the sunroof. She died two-days from massive head
Kingsley was 18 and still at school when the accident happened
after being persuaded to give friends a lift into the city to
catch a train to go to a party in London.
Kingsley, of Sheerways, Faversham, had only passed his test at
the third attempt the previous December and usually drove a Mini,
when he lost control of the Discovery at the roundabout at London
Road and Rheims Way on April 4, 2009.
Two seats had been taken out of the back of the Discovery and
Sophie, 18, was sharing a seat and seat belt with a friend, but
decided it was uncomfortable and was sitting in the rear passenger
footwell when the accident happened.
Experts estimated Kingsley's speed as he approached the
roundabout was between 43 and 54mph, but probably at the lower end.
He himself put the accident down to his own inexperience, the
weight of people in the car and possibly hitting something.
Kingsley appeared at Canterbury Crown Court on Monday afternoon
and admitted causing death by dangerous driving. His lawyer,
Crispian Cartwright spoke of his remorse and devastation at causing
the death of a friend and said the whole family were grief
He said Kingsley did not really understand why he lost control
that night, but stressed there were no aggravating features of
drink or drugs.
Kingsley was painfully aware of the grief of the dead girl's
family and her death was a terrible burden on his shoulders. He had
suffered deep depression and only the support of his parents had
kept him from suicide.
Sending Kingsley to a young offenders institution, Judge Adele
Williams spoke of the life of Sophie Harrison, full of promise, but
tragically cut short and accepted all that been said for Kingsley
but said he had to be punished.
He was disqualified for three years and must take an extended
driving test before he drives again.
Full reaction in this week's
Faversham News, out Thursday.
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