Teenage Driver Was Texting On Mobile Phone Moments Before Crash That Killed Sutton Girl

PUBLISHED: 08:49 02 December 2009 | UPDATED: 11:08 04 May 2010

teenager was texting before fatal crash

teenager was texting before fatal crash

A TEENAGE driver who was texting on his mobile phone moments before a crash which caused the death of 17-year-old Sutton girl has been jailed for 21 months. Isaac Playford, 18, of Cherry Hinton, Cambridge, pleaded guilty to causing the death of the teena

A TEENAGE driver who was texting on his mobile phone moments before a crash which caused the death of 17-year-old Sutton girl has been jailed for 21 months.

Isaac Playford, 18, of Cherry Hinton, Cambridge, pleaded guilty to causing the death of the teenager by dangerous driving at Cambridge Crown Court at a hearing on November 27.

Police inquiries found that Playford, of Mill End Road, was reading a text message on his mobile phone when his green Citroen Saxo left the road and hit an electricity pylon on the A142 near Mepal on January 12 this year.

Sarah Oldham, who was a passenger in the car, suffered multiple injuries in the crash and died at Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, two days later.

Playford received minor injuries and was discharged from hospital shortly after the crash.

Playford was jailed for 21 months and disqualified from driving for four years by Judge Gareth Hawkesworth at Cambridge Crown Court.

Following the hearing, Inspector Alan Page, from the roads policing unit, said: "Police inquiries following this tragic crash revealed that Isaac had been texting moments before the collision.

"Sending or reading text messages while driving is very dangerous and research has shown it reduces your reaction time by 35 per cent.

"I would ask people: is sending or receiving a text message really worth endangering your, or someone else's life for? The circumstances of this case show how fragile life can be if someone does not give driving their full attention."

Sarah was on her way home from work from her part-time job at Costa Coffee in Ely and had to be cut free from the wreckage by fire crews who discovered the car up-side-down in a ditch. Paramedics managed to resuscitate her at the scene but Sarah died two days later with her family at her bedside. Sarah was a well known and popular girl and was described by her dad as an "incredibly popular girl who made a big impact on everyone's life".

City of Ely Community College, where Sarah was a sixth form student, acting principal Richard Baker said at the time: "Sarah was a bubbly, energetic student who loved life."

Sarah Oldham died from her injuries two days after the crash in January.

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