County News: Death crash driver jailed for five years

Arthur Berry. Photo by Surrey Police

Arthur Berry. Photo by Surrey Police

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A Worthing teenager has been jailed for five years after pleading guilty to causing the death of a 17-year-old girl by dangerous driving.

A police spokesman said Arthur Berry, 19, of Stable Lane, Findon, was sentenced at Guildford Crown Court yesterday (April 8) after he pleaded guilty to the charge and two counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving following a fatal collision on the A24 in Capel last April.

Surrey Police said Charlotte Lajoie from Epsom died, another 17-year-old girl suffered ‘life-changing injuries’ and a 28-year-old was seriously injured after Berry lost control of a grey Seat Ibiza as he was travelling northbound on the Horsham Road between Clark’s Green roundabout and the Kingsfold railway bridge on April 26 2015.

A spokesman said: “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.”

He was jailed for five years with the sentencing on each count to run concurrently and will face an extended re-test following a five-year driving disqualification.

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.”

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