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4 years for dangerous driver who killed schoolgirl and injured several others

Posted in: Car Accidents Leg Injuries Pedestrian Injuries Road Traffic Accidents School Accidents Wrongful & Accidental Death 

Robert Blackwell, 19, from Hayway Lane, Bampton, Oxfordshire, has been given a 4-year jail sentence after admitting dangerous driving resulting in the death of schoolgirl, Liberty Baker, 14, on 30 June. Blackwell’s car mounted the pavement, killing Liberty and injuring 2 of her friends as they walked to school in Witney, Oxfordshire. 

Blackwell admitted causing death by dangerous driving and inflicting serious injury by dangerous driving, and admitted to having smoked cannabis on the day before taking to the road. The incident took place in Curbridge Road and also involved Paul Cracknell who was walking on the pavement behind the girls. Mr Cracknell is still receiving treatment for the serious leg injuries which he sustained.

A “tragic case”

Ian Hope, Prosecutor, stated that Blackwell was travelling at a “minimum of 44mph” in a 30mph zone when his Citroën C2 stuck the girls.  Oxford Crown Court found Blackwell guilty and served him a disqualification from driving for five years.  Mr Hope said that Blackwell was “distracted for what must have been a period of time of 10 seconds or more”.

In an interview just before the hearing, Liberty’s father, Paul, said, “It was a typical Monday morning. She was searching around for her school tie. I found her tie for her – in some ways I wish I didn’t find it now, because that would have delayed her departure”. He added, “I saw her walk out the door, and that was the last time I saw Liberty alive”.

Thames Valley Police spokeswoman, PC Sandra Terry, described the accident as a “tragic case”, and added “This case highlights the importance of driving safely and maintaining concentration at all times”.

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