A TEENAGER caused the death of his 17-year-old passenger when he lost control trying to negotiate a bend on a country road.
George Robinson, 18, had only just passed his test and was driving too fast when he crashed into a fence, causing the death of Jason Eaton.
Northampton Crown Court heard Robinson was at the wheel of a Toyota Corrolla, on the B4036 between Watford and West Haddon, when he failed to brake and crashed at 73 mph on October 5, 2010.
Jason, from Crick, who was a front seat passenger, was airlifted to hospital but died of his injuries.
Johnathan Spicer, prosecuting at Northampton Crown Court, said the friends set off from Long Buckby in convoy with a VW Golf with Robinson’s Toyota ahead. As they approached the bend, which had a 60mph limit, he failed to slow down, lost control and careered off the road.
He said: “The massive impact crushed the roof and tore off the windscreen and both air bags were deployed. The accident investigator concluded the cause was speed too fast for the bend and the inexperience of the driver.”
The court heard 30 metres of wooden fencing was damaged as the car came off the road and split a tree in two.
Mr Spicer said the speedometer stuck at 73mph and an officer later drove the bend and concluded it was still too dangerous to drive at its 60mph limit.
Robinson, of Naseby Road, Clipston, pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving and was sentenced to 18 months’ detention and banned from driving for two years.
Judge Rupert Mayo said the case should act as a warning to all young and inexperienced drivers.
He said: “There is one major aggravating feature in this case, something I hope all 17 and 18-year-olds will listen to.
“This accident occurred only three months and five days after passing your driving test.
“It was not sustained bad driving but you were just driving too fast before you reached the bend . . . far too fast as you approached the bend and due to your lack of experience, you failed to negotiate the bend accurately and you killed your friend.”
Adam Wiseman, mitigating, said: “He says there is not a single day that passes that he does not reflect on this.”