The Driver Killed A 19-Year-Old Woman And Hurt Numerous Others During Incident On 31 May 2018
The family of a young woman who died and two young men who were seriously injured when they were hit by a car have spoken out after the driver of the car was sentenced.
Sophie Louise Smith, 19, was killed after a 3-series BMW hit a group of pedestrians at a car meet on Europa Way, Trafford Park, on 31 May.
On Tuesday, 21st August at Minshull Street Crown Court, 25 year-old Scott Watkins, of Worsley Road North, Salford, was sentenced to nine years and nine months for causing the death of Sophie Smith by dangerous driving.
There are additional sentences on the other eight counts, including four counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving, causing death while uninsured, failing to stop after a road traffic collision and failing to report a road traffic collision, but all will run concurrently.
He has also been banned from the road for 14 years.
Sophie’s family, and the families of two of those injured, Sophie’s boyfriend Jordan Chidgey, from Radcliffe, and Colin Burton, from Eccles, instructed specialist lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to support them through the legal process after the fatal incident.
Both Jordan, 24, and Colin, 32, suffered multiple injuries in the incident and were hospitalised. Colin is yet to return home as he continues to receive treatment, whilst Jordan is currently unable to walk and is using a wheelchair and crutches at home.
Sue Patel, Sophie’s mother, said: “With Scott Watkins receiving a custodial sentence, his family will have the privilege of visiting him.
“We shall have the privilege of visiting our beloved Sophie only at a graveside.
“When the accused is released from custody his family will have the privilege of welcoming him home.
“Although Sophie will always be in our hearts we shall never have the privilege of welcoming her back home.
“The sun will never shine on Sophie’s beautiful and youthful face again.”
Jordan and immediate family said: “On the 31 May 2018 the world changed forever, when unlicensed and uninsured Watkins ploughed into bystanders, leaving them like skittles in a bowling alley, whilst he sped off to avoid capture.
“As a result of the injuries, Sophie lost her life and Jordan his girlfriend and soulmate and left four with life changing injuries.
“Whatever the sentence, it will not be long enough and will not take away the physical and mental pain that will continue along with further surgery and rehabilitation for the rest of their lives, which Watkins has caused, and nor will it bring Sophie back.
“Sophie’s hugs and smile would light up the darkest moments and just wish her here to do that now.
Colin, whose kidneys began to fail after the incident while in hospital, continues to need medical care.
Colin’s father, Chris Burton, said: “Today is a tough day for all the families involved in this tragic matter.
“With this sentencing, we hope we can begin focus all our energy on supporting and helping with Colin’s recovery and rehabilitation following this awfully devastating incident.”
Jonathan Betts, Regional Managing Partner for Personal Injury and serious injury expert at Irwin Mitchell representing Sophie’s family, Jordan and Colin, said:
Expert Opinion“The consequences of dangerous driving on the road have been fatally highlighted by this case.
“Due to the actions of the defendant, multiple families have been caused immeasurable pain. It highlights the importance of drivers taking responsibility for their actions on the roads.
“We will continue to work with the families of Sophie, Jordan, Colin to ensure they are fully supported through this difficult time, and that both Jordan and Colin have access to the best care and treatment to ensure they receive a full rehabilitation from their injuries." Jonathan Betts - Partner