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16 May 2017, 05:22
A motorist has been jailed for 5 years after his dangerous driving resulted in the death of his friend.
Barry Smart, 37, of Pemerton Road, Basingstoke, pleaded guilty to causing the death of Kirsty Saunders by dangerous driving.
Winchester Crown Court heard how on 24 June 2016, Smart was driving a BMW along the A30 at Water End, when the car left the carriageway and collided with a tree.
Miss Saunders, 30, from Basingstoke, who was in the passenger seat, suffered life-threatening injuries and was taken to Southampton General Hospital.
Sadly, she died three days later, on 27 June, in hospital.
Smart was taken to hospital in a critical condition.
Officers from the Serious Collision Investigation Unit carried out a full investigation and, as a result, Smart was later summoned to court to face the charge.
The court was told that those investigations found Smart had not only taken the car without the owner’s consent, he was travelling at a speed in excess of 100 mph and had also consumed a quantity of alcohol which is likely to have affected his ability to drive.
The judge heard that Smart was overtaking another vehicle when he lost control of the car, resulting in the fatal collision.
Today he was sentenced to 5 years imprisonment and disqualified from driving for 7 ½ years.
Speaking after the sentencing, PC Claire Miller said: “Once again we found ourselves investigating a fatal collision which was totally avoidable.
“Smart made a catalogue of reckless and irresponsible decisions that night which ultimately led to the death of his friend.
“Had he just stopped to realise how dangerous his actions were, then Kirsty would still be alive today and her family would not be forced to live on without her.
“Instead he has to live the rest of his life knowing that he is responsible for the death of his friend.
“I hope that this case acts as a warning to other motorists that these risks are not worth taking. The consequences can be fatal, as this collision has proven.”