Essex Woman Convicted After Fatal Collision

14 November 2014, 17:04 | Updated: 14 November 2014, 17:11

A woman has been sentenced after being convicted of causing the death of a 13 year-old girl by careless driving in Stansted Mountfitchett last year.

Caren Klein, a 35 year-old woman from Frambury Lane, Newport, appeared at Chelmsford Crown Court today, Friday, November 14, where she was disqualified from driving for two years, made subject of an 18-month community order and sentenced to 120 hours of unpaid work.

The former Metropolitan Police officer was the driver of a red Suzuki car which was in collision with Chiara Sanfilippo (pictured) who was crossing Cambridge Road in Stansted Mountfitchett having got off a bus, just after 4.15pm on Wednesday, October 16.

Senior investigating officer Ds Dave Jones from the Essex Police Serious Collision Investigation Unit said:

"Chiara Sanfilippo lost her life in tragic circumstances from which there are lessons to be learnt. The risks when overtaking a stationary bus cannot be overstated. There is a great responsibility that comes with holding a driving licence and drivers should always think about other road users, especially pedestrians. In this case Caren Klein was found to have exceeded the speed limit and failed to afford Chiara the care and attention appropriate for the circumstance. Has she done so the outcome would have been very different for all concerned and the pain and loss felt by the Sanfilippo family could so easily have been avoided.”

Following the sentencing hearing the Sanfilippo family released this statement:

"We are totally devastated by the loss of our beautiful, precious daughter Chiara, aged 13 years, taken from us so suddenly and tragically. A loss so deep that we will never come to terms with. A deep sadness and hurt that will live with us forever. However, our precious Chiara is the true victim of this, having her life cut drastically short.

Chiara was so lovely beyond words. So loved and treasured by her whole family and many, many friends. She was very placid in her nature, very kind-hearted and generous to all who knew her. She was a truly beautiful soul with such a passion for horses. She rode regularly and was a competent horse woman. Shortly before being taken from us she had competed at Norton Heath and was keen to do more competitions. She was part of a helpers club at a local riding school, where she cared for the horses and helped out in other lessons with younger or less experienced riders. Her stables have just had a competition in Chiara’s name. Her dream in life was to become a vet or a midwife. She was working hard at school and hoped to achieve high.

She was an amazing big sister. There is a huge gap where she should be and she is sorely missed by her younger brother and sister. She loved to read and would often curl up on a chair, somewhere, with a book. Always smiling and happy, she never had a bad word to say about anyone. We are so proud to say Chiara is our daughter and miss her dreadfully and are heart-broken she has been taken from us.

We are truly grateful to all the people who have supported us surrounding us with love, caring for us and helping us in any way they could. We must highlight the support and kindness we have had from Chiara’s many friends, Herts and Essex High School for Girls, which Chiara attended, The Bishop’s Stortford High School, Maple Pollard Riding School, Phoenix Theatre and Performing Arts School. All places where events and awards have taken place in Chiara’s name. This has assured us that Chiara’s kind and beautiful nature will never be forgotten.”