A 19-year-old man from Worthing has been sentenced to five years imprisonment for causing death by dangerous driving and three years each for two offences of causing serious injury by dangerous driving, following a fatal collision on the A24 in Capel in April 2015.
Arthur Berry of Stable Lane, Findon, Worthing appeared at Guildford Crown Court today (Friday, 8 April) where he pleaded guilty to one count of causing death by dangerous driving and two counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving following the collision between a grey Seat Ibiza and a silver Ford Fiesta on 26 April.
He was sentenced to a total of five years behind bars with the sentencing on each count to run consecutively. He is disqualified from driving for five years and will face an extended re-test.
Berry, who was driving the Seat, lost control of the vehicle as he travelled northbound on the Horsham Road between the Clark’s Green roundabout and the Kingsfold railway bridge. He collided with a silver Ford Fiesta travelling in the opposite direction.
As a result of the collision, 17-year-old Charlotte Lajoie from Epsom sadly died. She was a passenger in the back of the Seat and died at the scene.
A second female passenger, who was also 17-years-old at the time and from Epsom, suffered serious life changing injuries.
The driver of the Ford Fiesta, a 28-year-old from the Worthing area, suffered serious injuries.
Berry himself suffered serious chest and back injuries in the collision.
Acting DI Gary Wright of the Surrey Police Collision Investigation Unit said:
“The sentencing today reflects the severity of this crime and demonstrates how excessive speed and lack of concentration during a few moments of recklessness can lead to a tragedy which will be a lifetime sentence for the victim’s family and for those left with long-term injuries.
“Surrey Police is committed to tackling issues surrounding driving offences and I hope this result shows other young drivers how important it is that they exercise due responsibility for themselves and any passengers in their vehicles. They are in charge of a potentially lethal weapon and must treat it with caution. The outcome that day killed a young girl who had her future ahead of her and needlessly altered lives for a number of people.”