Eastbourne teenager jailed after death crash

Thompson SUS-170902-075657001
Thompson SUS-170902-075657001

An Eastbourne teenager whose dangerous driving killed a 71-year-old woman on the M25 has been sentenced to two years imprisonment.

Eighteen-year-old Chloe Thompson, of Carlton Road, drove her vehicle in to the back of a grey car that had stopped in stationary traffic on the anti-clockwise lane in June 2016. The driver of the other vehicle died at the scene.

Thompson was sentenced at Maidstone Crown Court yesterday (Wednesday February 8). She had previously pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving at the same court and will serve her sentence at a young offenders’ institution.

She was also disqualified from driving for six years and will have to take an extensive test before being granted a licence in the future.

The court heard Thompson was travelling in a pink Smart car at no slower than 80mph when it hit the back of the victim’s Citroen C4 near the slip road for junction 3 on Friday June 3.

Police say this happened despite advisory speed limits of 50mph and 40mph being displayed on two central reservation signs within 1.5 miles of the scene.

Several overhead gantry signs had also advised drivers of delays between junctions 4 and 2, as well as there being a queue ahead.

Upon being hit by Thompson’s car the victim’s vehicle, a grey Citroen C4, collided with the rear of a silver Vauxhall Insignia which had stopped in front. This in turn struck the rear of a blue BMW 730D.

A further five people suffered injuries as a result of the collision however none of these were serious.

Witnesses in lanes one and two of the motorway, which had longer queues, reported seeing Thompson’s car travelling at speed in the moments leading up to the collision, despite the warning signs and heavy traffic.

Dash cam footage, which captured the collision, also shows the victim’s car come to a stop with its brake lights clearly illuminated.

Police say there was no evidence that Thompson attempted to brake before impact.

Detective Constable David Holmes, the investigating officer, said, “Thompson was travelling in excess of the enforced speed limit however, she was also around 40mph in excess of the advisory speed limit.

“While it may only be an ‘advisory speed’, people must take heed in the fact it is shown for a reason, along with the overhead gantries warning of queues ahead.

“It is important for all drivers to be aware and concentrate at all times when driving, especially on fast roads and especially those less experienced drivers who have recently passed their driving test.

“This needs to serve as a reminder of the tragic consequences that can occur when concentration is lacking and important information is ignored.

“While Miss Thompson did not set out to kill, the victim has tragically lost her life when she herself was safely negotiating the road and hazards presented to her, unbeknown of what was going to happen.”