Speed claim in fatal crash

Scene of a road traffic accident on Division Lane.  Pictured is local resident William Harrison.

Scene of a road traffic accident on Division Lane. Pictured is local resident William Harrison.

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A TEENAGER accused of causing the death of a passenger by driving dangerously was allegedly speeding, a court has heard.

Naomi Jones, 19, of Carr Drive, Wesham, was driving her silver Vauxhall Corsa along Division Lane, Marton, on July 11 last year when, it is claimed, she lost control and hit a tree.

Elysia Ashworth, 17, of Ulverston Crescent, St Annes, was sitting behind Jones when the car crashed into the tree and died two days later in Royal Blackburn Hospital from her injuries.

Eric Lamb, prosecuting, said: “The evidence in this case will prove for sure this defendant drove dangerously on Division Lane.

“The defendant drove too fast for all of the conditions in Division Lane and all the evidence we have collected will prove, for sure, the standard of the defendant’s driving fell well below what was expected of a competent and careful driver.

“It would be obvious to a competent and careful driver that driving in this manner was not appropriate.”

At the time of the accident, a police investigation found the road surface to be uneven, road signs were missing, and ditches lined the side of the road.

One resident, William Harrison, had been forced to paint four white lines on a tree outside his home to identify it to motorists at night. the court heard.

As part of their investigation, police drove a car along Division Lane, which has a 30mph speed limit, at varying speeds - from 20 to 35 mph - to find out how it would respond.

Mr Lamb added: “Even at 20mph the effect of hitting the dips was very noticeable.

“The police set about estimating the speed of what the car was going and the estimate is it hit the tree between 30 and 35mph.

“Even by the point of impact the car was doing near to 30 or 35mph, that must mean the approach speed of the Corsa must have been greater.”

Jones pleaded not guilty to causing death by dangerous driving but guilty to causing death by careless driving.

Mr Harrison said he had raised concerns with Lancashire County Council about missing, faded and damaged road signs which should have been visible on the road. He said: “In July last year there should’ve been two 30mph road signs but one had been missing for 18 months and the other had been damaged and leaning into a hedgerow.”

(Proceeding)

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