Lucy Knowles: Killer driver jailed over death of girl, 17, in horror crash in Chesterfield

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A killer driver has been jailed for causing the death of a teenage girl in a horror crash in Chesterfield.

William Eade, aged 19, was jailed for 10 months and banned from driving for five years over the death of 17-year-old Lucy Knowles in a crash in 2021.

Derby Crown Court heard on Friday, March 24, how Eade had earlier pleaded guilty to causing death by careless or inconsiderate driving.

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The court was told how Eade, of Enfield Road, Newbold, was driving along Harewood Road, Holymoorside, with three passengers in near-freezing conditions on the night of April 2, 2021.

Lucy was a "beautiful, funny, vibrant and kind-hearted young woman"Lucy was a "beautiful, funny, vibrant and kind-hearted young woman"
Lucy was a "beautiful, funny, vibrant and kind-hearted young woman"

The vehicle left the road as Eade rounded a corner and crashed into three trees. Investigations revealed the car had been travelling at 55 miles per hour at the moment of impact, whereas most motorists typically took the bend at 20-25 mph.

Lucy Knowles, who worked as a pre-school assistant, was sitting behind the driver's seat and suffered a serious head injury and died in hospital three days later. Eade was knocked unconscious, while the other two passengers sustained lesser injuries.

Judge Nigel Godsmark KC, sentencing Eade, said: “You are not an evil person, you did not mean to cause harm, but you bear the responsibility for her death.”

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In a victim impact statement read out to the court, Lucy’s mother, Kerry, described her daughter as her “best friend” and said she had been “emotionally at rock bottom” since her death.

Eade will serve his driving disqualification on release, and be subject to an extended retest process before being allowed on the roads again.

Lucy’s aunt Karie Bell-Wriggs described Lucy as a “beautiful, funny, vibrant and kind-hearted young woman” when paying tribute to her following her shock death.

Lucy, who lived in Chesterfield with her family, worked as a pre-school assistant before her death, and was a former pupil at Outwood Academy Newbold. Steve Roberts, lead principal at the school, said that Lucy was a “hardworking and talented young woman, full of promise” – and added that she “always made a very positive impression with all staff and students she came into contact with.”