A young driver crashed and killed her boyfriend when she lost control at high speed after her phone’s Google Maps satnav app told her she was about to miss their turning.
Student Sally Edmondson, 20, was doing 80mph in the outside lane of the A1 and being given directions by Christopher Young, 24, when she overtook and then cut up another car to get on to the slip road.
But losing control of her VW Polo, she careered on to a grass verge before hitting a steel object that had been abandoned at the roadside.
Mr Young, 24, a well-known amateur rugby league player in his home town of Keighley, West Yorkshire, suffered serious injuries in the crash on April 10 last year and was pronounced dead later that day.
Student Sally Edmondson, 20, was doing 80mph in the outside lane of the A1 and being given directions by Christopher Young, 24, when she overtook and then cut up another car to get on to the slip road
Sarah Knight, prosecuting, told Lincoln Crown Court that it occurred on a Sunday morning as the couple were heading from their home in Bedford to attend a christening in Lincolnshire.
Miss Knight said: ‘The defendant was a relatively inexperienced driver, having passed her test in September 2015. It appears clear the deceased was using Google Maps to navigate and indicate the route they needed to take.
‘There was proper signing indicating the slip road in advance. It plainly must have been missed.’
Miss Knight said Edmondson was driving in the outside lane and overtook another motorist at around 80mph before realising she needed to turn off.
‘Having overtaken, she swerved in front of the car and into the slip road. It was a late turn. It was an abrupt manoeuvre and it was over the speed limit. It was shocking for others to see,’ she added.
‘The defendant failed to keep control of the vehicle. It went over the grass and into the steel object. It came to rest in a hedge.’
Edmondson later told a passer-by who had stopped to help: ‘I’m sorry. I’m sorry. It was all my fault. I was going too fast.’
Mr Young’s parents, Christine and John, run shops in the Keighley area, and their son met Edmondson when she began working for them.
The couple moved to Bedford, where both were studying at the local university, and were planning to marry.
Mr Young’s mother told the court: ‘That day has become our living nightmare which continues every day and will do for the rest of our lives. The defendant will move on. That is something we can never do.
Christopher Young, 24, a well-known amateur rugby league player in his home town of Keighley, West Yorkshire, suffered serious injuries in the crash on April 10 last year and was pronounced dead later that day
‘We have known Sally from when she was 16. She was our first employee when we opened up our business.
‘She started going out with our son and the relationship grew. We accepted her into our family like a daughter.
‘She has never said she was sorry for what happened and has shown no remorse at all.
‘No one knows what heartache she has inflicted on our family.’
Miss Knight said there has since been ill-feeling between Edmondson and Mr Young’s family after they requested the return of some of their son’s belongings, including a computer and an old-fashioned record player.
In the end the family took proceedings in the county court to have the items returned.
Miss Knight said there has since been ill-feeling between Edmondson and Mr Young’s family after they requested the return of some of their son’s belongings, including a computer and an old-fashioned record player
Deputy Judge Michael Stokes QC, passing sentence, said Edmondson had taken responsibility for what she did, and he urged Mr Young’s family to show forgiveness. He said: ‘This is not something that can properly be described as an accident. It was the result of real carelessness.
‘You have genuinely accepted responsibility even though Christopher was the one using the direction indicator on your phone.
‘One can fully understand the feelings generated by what was an utterly stupid decision on your part.
‘All I can say to Christopher’s family is this.
‘From my experience of these cases there is only one way to progress from now, difficult though it is, and that is the road of forgiveness. Forgiveness is the only way out of the situation.’
Edmondson, of Keighley, West Yorkshire, who has since given up her teacher training course, admitted causing death by careless driving.
She was given a ten-month jail sentence suspended for 18 months and 150 hours of unpaid work.
She was disqualified from driving for three years and will have to pass an extended retest before she can drive again.