Teenage girl kills friend in car crash just hours after passing her driving test

A teenager who killed her friend in a crash the day she passed her driving test has been spared jail.

Katy Butler, 19, smashed her silver Toyota Aygo into a tree after veering off a rural road.

She was given a community order after admitting death by careless driving at Southampton Crown Court.

Prosecutor Rose Burns said that after the tiny car came to a halt Butler realised her close friend, Abbie O'Rourke, who was sat behind her, was unresponsive.

The hearing at was told that Butler and the other two passengers in the car gave the 18-year-old CPR until paramedics arrived at the scene on School Lane, Hamble-le-Rice, Hampshire.

Ms Burns added that all of the occupants of the car were taken to hospital.

However, Abbie was unfortunately later pronounced dead.

A post-mortem examination revealed the teenager, of Victoria Road, Netley Abbey, Hampshire, died of multiple injuries.

The court heard how Butler and her three passengers were enjoying their new freedom by making stops in the Mount Pleasant car park, at the Co-op and Hamble Lane in the lead up to the crash.

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During a voluntary interview, Butler told police they had been "listening to music and having a bit of a laugh" before the crash. She had also never driven on School Lane before and was not aware of the bend until it was too late.

A crash investigation conducted by police suggested the car had been travelling between 26.5mph and 33.8mph. The likely cause of the crash was a combination of factors, including Butler's inexperience and unfamiliarity with the road, it added.

The court heard that the teenager tested negative for drugs and alcohol.

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Butler of Norbury Gardens, Hamble, was charged with a single count of causing death by careless/inconsiderate driving. She pleaded guilty to the offence which happened on December 5, 2019.

Defending, Charles Gabb, said: "It is not something she will ever forget. They were good friends and this is the last thing in the world she would have wanted to happen to anybody."

Judge Nicholas Rowland said it was a tragic case. He gave Butler an 18-month community order, 80 hours of unpaid work, and disqualified her from driving for 12 months.

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