Speeding driver who killed schoolboy in Wednesfield crash jailed for two years
A speeding driver who killed a 13-year-old child while undercutting another motorist has been jailed for two years.
Hospital porter Joshua Harvey was at the wheel of a Nissan Juke travelling at an estimated 48 mph in a 30 limit when tragedy struck on Lakefield Road, Wednesfield, on December 29 last year, Wolverhampton Crown Court was told.
Schoolboy Sean Williams followed his friend Joshua Harris as the pair ran over a Pelican Crossing in the mistaken belief the lights were in their favour, explained Miss Raj Punia, prosecuting.
The confusion was caused by the traffic lights on the filter lane at the junction with March End Road showing red while those governing the twin track stretch of Lakefield Road being used by the defendant were on green, continued the prosecutor.
The driver of a Nissan Micra on the outside lane managed to stop as the two boys ran in front of him but 23-year-old Harvey, who was undercutting him, was going so fast he had no time to brake until after the impact, the court heard.
Joshua Harris reached the safety of the pavement unscathed but Sean, who was a split second behind him, suffered traumatic head injuries after being thrown into the air by the Juke.
The boy from Bushbury Lane, Bushbury, was taken to Birmingham Children’s Hospital where he died later the same day.
Harvey stopped a short distance further up the road and told police he had not seen the victim whom he claimed ‘came out of nowhere,’ revealed Miss Punia.
She concluded: “The defendant undertook the the Nissan Micra while driving through the junction at a minimum speed of 48 mph and had no time to react.”
Accident investigators ruled that if the car had been travelling within the speed limit either Sean would have had time to get to the other side of the road or the defendant would have been able to avoid him.
Mr Gurdeep Garcha, representing Harvey, conceded: “But for the manner of his driving Sean Williams would still be alive today. Responsibility is on the motorist to expect the unexpected and he is ultimately to blame.
“The knowledge that you have killed a child in these circumstances is a difficulty cross to bear. This was a short lived burst of bad driving - a momentary act of selfishness.”
The Juke had a dashboard camera which had stored film of earlier incidents in which the defendant undertook traffic and overtook vehicles across chevron markings which motorists are only allowed to cross in an emergency.
Sean's grieving parents have told of their continued heartbreak as Harvey came back before the court for sentencing.
His mother Elaine, from Bushbury Lane, Bushbury, who has four other sons and a daughter, had her victim impact statement read to the court
She said: “My heart stopped beating when the police told me he had been in an accident. I just broke down at the hospital and part of my life stopped when the machine was turned off.”
Elaine revealed that she was still taking medication to help her cope with the daily sense of loss over the death of her ‘baby.’
She confessed that her ‘head was still not in the right place’ and that she makes daily visits to light a candle at the cemetery where Sean was laid to rest.
She disclosed: ‘It breaks my heart to leave him there’ and continued: “When I sit at night the memories of Sean come flooding back.”
A table at the family home is covered with reminders of him and his school uniform is still hanging there.
She concluded: “The hardest thing is going to bed without saying good night to him.”
Her partner Andrew added: “Nothing will ever be the same again for his mother and I. We will never seen him graduate, marry or have his own children but he will always be remembered as an amazing, intelligent, polite, loving boy.”
Harvey, from Griffiths Drive, Ashmore Park, admitted causing death by careless driving and was sent to prison by Judge Nicholas Webb who told him: “Sean clearly thought it was safe to cross and tragically this is what led to his death.”
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