Man jailed for killing teenage girl in high speed crash - Luton

30/09/2016

A teenage girl, who screamed at a speeding driver to stop as he fled from the police, was killed when his car crashed into a shop.

Wanessa Lewandowska, aged 15, was a back seat passenger in Michael Fludgate's VW Golf that reached 80mph in a 20mph zone before hitting the TV repair shop.

At Luton Crown Court on Friday, Fludgate, aged 20, pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving, causing death while uninsured, and causing death while unlicenced.

He was sentenced to eight years custody, banned from driving for four years, after his release, and will have to take an extended driving test.

Wanessa, who wanted to work with children, was pronounced dead at the scene in High Town Road, Luton, Beds, on 09 August this year. Fludgate was seriously injured and airlifted to hospital and a 24-year-old man in the front ran off, but later went to police. He had also been seriously injured.

Sentencing Flugate, Judge Richard Foster told him: "This was a piece of flagrant and obvious dangerous driving. To any common sensed bystander the outcome was perhaps almost inevitable - that there would be a serious accident. You ignored the blue lights, and you disregarded your passengers screaming at you to slow down. Sadly Wanessa was killed. Nothing this court can say or do can bring back her life."

Peter Shaw, prosecuting for Thames and Chiltern Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said a police officer who was alone in an unmarked car saw Fludgate driving the VW Golf. "He formed the view that he was showing off or larking about, and decided he would pull over the vehicle and have words with the driver, but he never got the chance. The Golf was accelerating and he put on the blue lights that were behind the radiator grill and on the wing mirrors. The Golf accelerated harshly. The police driver, who was trained for such persuits, contacted force control to say a vehicle had failed to stop." The prosecutor said that at one point the Golf did a hand-brake turn and slewed side ways, but recorrected itself and drove off again, reaching speeds up to 80 mph in 30 and 20 mph zones. But when the officer saw a huge number of sparks come from under the car as it went over a speed bump, he decided it was too risky to continue to try and stop him. But he kept him in view and seconds later the car crashed.

Nicola Shannon, defending, said Fludgate had pleaded guilty to all charges at the first opportunity. "He does not minimise the part he played. But this was just a few minutes in his life when he failed to make the correct judgement. He is not someone who has previous driving offences, he is not a boy racer."

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