Winnersh: Driver jailed over teenagers' deaths
Published: 17 Apr 2013 15:00
Samuel Darling, of Sirius Close, Woosehill, was sentenced to seven years imprisonment at Reading Crown Court this afternoon (Wednesday) after being found guilty of two counts of causing death by dangerous driving.
He crashed into a car driven by former Emmbrook student Jack Allison, 18, who died shortly after the collision at the Winnersh crossroads in the A329 Reading Road on March 14, 2012. Stuart Craig, 19, from Winnersh, a passenger in Mr Allison's car, died at the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, a week later.
Judge John Reddihough said: "This case is an utter tragedy. Two young lives were brought to an end in a fatal road traffic collision.
"I've read the long and very moving tributes from the family and friends of Jack and Stuart. Clearly both were very impressive young men who will always be missed.
"It is very important that a prison sentence measured in years in no way puts a value on human life."
Darling had denied the two charges of causing death by dangerous driving, claiming he went through one set of lights on green and the other on amber while driving down Reading Road from Wokingham. However, witnesses gave evidence at the trial to say he had gone through on red and that Mr Allison had driven off from King Street Lane when that light was green.
Judge Reddihough said: "He crossed a red light at the Sainsbury's lights and then drove across a major junction. He was traveling at a speed in excess of the speed limit at 45-50mph.
"The driver of the Golf was absolutely blameless. He was proceeding at a normal pace in his car with a green light."
He said Darling had not intended to kill either of the teenagers but said: "More than one person was killed as a result of your actions."
Darling, 24, has also been disqualified from driving for six years and will have to take a retest after that period.