Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Teenage Death Crash Driver Is Facing Jail; Majority Verdict after High Speed Tragedy

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Teenage Death Crash Driver Is Facing Jail; Majority Verdict after High Speed Tragedy

Article excerpt

Byline: By HIlary Clixby

A TEENAGER who was driving at dangerously high speed when he crashed his car killing a 16-year-old friend has been warned he faces jail.

Drew Dodd lost control of his Vauxhall Corsa SRi on a blind crest of a hill on the B6354 as he headed for Allerdean, near Berwick-on-Tweed, to visit a friend in January last year.

He and passengers Stevie Simpson and Matthew Veitch survived the horrific crash with minor injuries, but Craig Garland, who was in the back of the car, died at the scene.

Prosecutors said Dodd - who had passed his driving test just weeks earlier - was travelling at least 85mph and up to 95mph as he approached the blind crest on the 60mph road.

The 18-year-old, of Palace Street, Berwick, had denied causing Craig's death by dangerous driving but was found guilty by an 11 to one majority verdict yesterday after a trial at Newcastle Crown Court.

The teenager - who had planned to join the Army - was remanded on bail after sentence was adjourned until March 31 for a probation report by Judge John Evans, who told him custody was "inevitable".

Craig, an apprentice builder, of Main Street, Spittal, was described by his parents as the "perfect" son who would do anything for anyone and loved his job.

His mother, Fiona Knox, 41, a pharmacy assistant in Boots in Berwick and his father Gordon Garland, 44, a self-employed plumber, both attended Dodd's trial.

The couple, who are divorced, welcomed the verdict and said they hoped the case would make drivers, particularly young drivers, aware of the heavy price to be paid for driving at speed.

"We are happy with the verdict in that it has been acknowledged that he was driving dangerously and it was that which took Craig's life, said Mr Garland.

"Hopefully this case will make people aware of the price to be paid for high-speed driving for both sides. …

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