Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Katie Crept from Her Bedroom to Join Friends on a 'Joyride'. an Hour Later She Was Dead ... and Her Mother Still Thought She Was Asleep Upstairs

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Katie Crept from Her Bedroom to Join Friends on a 'Joyride'. an Hour Later She Was Dead ... and Her Mother Still Thought She Was Asleep Upstairs

Article excerpt

Byline: NILUFER ATIK

A TEENAGE girl was killed in a horrific car crash less than an hour after sneaking out of her house to meet friends.

Katie Wallace and boyfriend Ashley Fowle died after the car they were in hit a van and crashed into a tree. The driver has been arrested and police are investigating whether the vehicle was stolen.

The 15-year-old had crept out of her house after kissing her mother Barbara goodnight and going to bed.

Today Mrs Wallace told how she answered a knock on her door at 3am to be greeted by two police officers, who broke the tragic news. "I just kept saying to them, 'But Katie's upstairs in bed, she can't be dead, she can't be'," said Mrs Wallace.

Two other passengers and the driver were injured after the Ford Ka hit a parked van and ploughed into a tree. The accident took place only minutes from Katie's home in Dagenham on Tuesday morning.

The driver, who was 18, fled and was arrested shortly afterwards for failing to stop at the scene of an accident.

A police spokesman said officers were investigating whether the youths were joyriding in a stolen car.

It is believed Katie crept out to meet the group near her home some time before 1am. The crash happened at about 1.30am in Porters Avenue.

Katie - a pupil at Robert Clack secondary school in Dagenham, who dreamed of becoming a vet - was taken to Oldchurch Hospital, Romford, where she died.

Ashley, who was 16 and also lived in Dagenham, was taken to King George Hospital in Goodmayes, where he also later died.

Katie's best friend Kirsty Sanson, 14, was also one of the passengers. She was today recovering at home after being discharged from hospital.

The driver and a fourth passenger were also treated in hospital.

Mrs Wallace, 46, who is separated from Katie's father and raised her daughter alone, said: "It was around 10 o'clock and she kissed me goodnight and went up to bed. …

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