PLANS by a group of teenagers for a night out ended in tragedy, a court was told.
The circumstances behind the death of 18-year-old high-jump champion Danny Evans were revealed in full yesterday at Flintshire Magistrates’ Court.
Danny, from Connah’s Quay, died when the car in which he was a passenger hit a wall in Sealand Road on the night of February 15.
The court was told Danny was travelling to Chester with three friends.
The car was being driven by Jack Hughes, 18, who lost control of the car near a layby and it crashed.
Danny, a rear seat passenger, was killed and the other two passengers suffered serious injuries.
Hughes, who had passed his test eight months earlier, escaped relatively unscathed.
Hughes, of Bryn Hyfryd, Connah’s Quay, admitted causing death by careless driving and was ordered to carry out 100 hours of community work and was banned from driving for 12 months, with £85 prosecution costs. He must also re-take his driving test.
District Judge Andrew Shaw told the court the car was not being driven too fast, erratically, or in any other way that could be criticised.
He said: “The conclusion drawn by the police accident investigator was that this case involved a momentary loss of control.
“I am keenly aware of the terrible pain the family suffered as a result of the loss of their much loved son who was an asset to the wider community.”
The court was told Hughes had no previous convictions and references spoke highly of him, including a letter written on behalf of one of the injured passengers who did not blame him, and recognised it as a tragic accident.
Danny, from Normanby Drive in Connah’s Quay, was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident.
John Wylde, prosecuting, said that the Renault Clio went out of control at the approach to Dandy’s Top Soil, overturned, and collided heavily with the boundary wall at Yew Tree Farm.
Jordan Parry, a rear seat passenger, told the court he was not wearing a seatbelt.
He remembered being in agony and had spent six days in hospital.
Front seat passenger Ryan John Jones, who said he was wearing his seat belt, told the court it was dark, the car lights were on and they were listening to music.
He said the passengers were waving their arms about to the music but the driver did not join in.
Hughes was laughing but concentrating on his driving, the court was told.
Mr Jones said he did not think the actions of the passengers affected the movement of the car.
His memory was then blank until he woke up in hospital. His spleen had been removed, his shoulder blade was fractured and he had multiple fractures to the middle and lower spine.
Interviewed, Hughes thought he drifted towards a kerb because it was hard to see the road surface.
Police said the minimum speed of the car was 53mph in a 60mph area and that the accident was down to driver error.
Huw Roberts, defending, said it was a case which had the most tragic consequences and clearly nothing could bring the victim back.
It was something all concerned would have to live with, he said.
He added: “Jack has asked me to pass on his deepest sympathy to Danny’s family which I do so now in open court.”
The court was told it had been a split-second loss of concentration, or a split-second error of judgment from Hughes.
When an oncoming car had passed, he realised he was incorrectly positioned in the road, he tried to correct it, and over compensated, losing control, Mr Roberts said.
The police report concluded that Danny had not been wearing his seatbelt, he said.
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