Learner driver who killed best pal, 17, and injured three others when he lost control of new car on 60mph bend avoids jail
Ryan Nicholson walked away unscathed before fleeing scene of horror smash
A LEARNER driver who killed his best pal, 17, and injured three others when he lost control on a bend has avoided jail.
Ryan Nicholson was “almost like a brother” to Ricky Tynemouth who died in the horror smash.
As well as killing Ricky, the three other lads in the car, all under 18, suffered injuries but Nicholson walked away unscathed – and then ran away from the scene on the A196 near Choppington, Northumberland in April last year.
The 19-year-old admitted causing death by careless driving and related motoring offences and was given a suspended prison sentence at Newcastle Crown Court.
In a heart-rending statement Ricky’s mum, Karissa said: “I never realised when he said ‘goodbye mam’ that day it would be the last time I would hear his voice,” she said.
“I wish I had hugged and kissed him. I wish he had eaten his tea. I wish he had wanted to stay home with me rather than go out.
“Every day I wake up and remember all over again that our worst nightmare is true.
“As a family I don’t think we will ever come to terms with losing him.
“At times my mind plays tricks on me and I think I have caught a glimpse of him. It’s never Ricky, it’s someone else’s son, just as tall, just as handsome.”
The court heard Nicholson’s recently acquired blue Corsa was described by a couple it passed on a 30mph section as driving fast and being like a “blue flash”.
Shortly afterwards the couple came across the car in a hedge after Nicholson had spun out of control on a sweeping bend on a 60mph stretch.
Nicholson climbed out unaided and said to witnesses there was no need to call the police before leaving the scene, discarding the car keys in some woods.
Ricky, who was sitting behind the driver’s seat, had suffered “catastrophic injuries” and died at the scene.
Another 17-year-old suffered fractures to his pelvis and collar bone, a punctured lung and a broken tooth while a 15-year-old and another 17-year-old were also injured.
Judge Amanda Rippon said: ““It’s a parents’ nightmare, it’s a public disaster.
“Young men, and women, need to understand that they drive a lethal machine when they get behind the wheel of a car.”
Nicholson, of Choppington, pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving, having no licence or insurance, failing to stop and failing to report an accident.
He was given 15 months suspended for two years with 200 hours unpaid work, a six month curfew and a 12 month driving ban.
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