A DRIVER who caused his friend’s death by losing control of the car they were travelling in while speeding has been jailed for 10 months.
Rickie Hutchinson, 22, died after being thrown from the Vauxhall Vectra as it spun out of control on the Stanningley bypass in Leeds.
Leeds Crown Court heard the Daniel Faulkner, 25, may have been driving at speeds of up to 80mph shortly before the incident on June 24 last year.
Faulkner, of St Catherine’s Drive, Bramley, was jailed yesterday after pleading guilty to causing death by careless driving.
Richard Walters, prosecuting, said Faulkner had been driving Mr Hutchinson, his brother Mark and another passenger back from go karting party when the collision happened at around 11.30pm.
Mr Walters said Faulkner had been driving normally until he reached the traffic lights near to the Living World pet store at Armley and accelerated. Mr Hutchinson’s brother estimated the car was travelling around 70 mph and he told Faulkner to slow down.
As he did so the vehicle hit a camber and went out of control, hitting a concrete wall, bollard and a road sign. It had been raining at the time and the road surface was wet. The impact caused Mr Hutchinson’s seat belt to disengage and he was thrown from the vehicle.
Emergency services were called but he died at the scene. Mr Walters read moving statements on behalf of Mr Hutchinson’s partner, Charlotte Evans, and father Peter describing as his “vibrant” and “caring” personality.
Miss Evans said: “Me and Rickie were so happy together and in love. I miss him so much. We had so many plans together like holidays and music gigs. Things, life, will never be the same”
Phillip Morris, for Faulkner, said his client had been left devastated over Mr Hutchinson’s death.
The barrister said Faulkner said the father-of-two had no previous convictions and was a responsible, hard-working family man.
He said Faulkner had not been drinking and there was nothing suggest he had been racing any other vehicles. Mr Morris said Faulkner was still unable to give an explanation as to why he chose to accelerate in such unsuitable driving conditions.