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Warminster man, 23, jailed for death crash
A Warminster man has been jailed for 15 months for causing the death of a mother-of-two travelling in the passenger seat of his vehicle on the A36 last year.
Last Friday, Winchester Crown Court heard that Matthew Clay, pictured, of Willow Crescent, was driving along the A36 at Steeple Langford towards Salisbury at 8.15am on October 10 with then girlfriend Victoria Knight.
The 23-year-old, driving his Audi A3, was in the outside lane of the carriageway when he attempted to overtake an oil tanker before the road became a single carriageway.
Unaware that there was a car in front of the oil tanker, he was unable to complete the manoeuvre and swerved right onto the central white lines while braking at the same time, losing control of the car and exposing the passenger side to the oncoming traffic.
Miss Knight was taken to hospital following the collision, where she died from her injuries three days later.
Richard Tutt, defending, told the court: “This was a tragic accident and he feels deep sorrow and remorse for the death of Miss Knight and for her family, especially her two children.”
Mr Clay and Miss Knight, 23, had had an on-off relationship and were together at the time of the crash when Clay had offered to take Miss Knight to Salisbury Hospital for a check-up, dropping her two children, aged six and four, off at school on the way.
Mr Tutt added: “Mr Clay has found it very difficult to speak to the family of Miss Knight and he was asked not to attend the funeral. He has offered a guilty plea at the earliest opportunity.
“There is not a day that goes by when he doesn’t think about what happened. He wishes that he could swap places with Miss Knight.”
Recorder of Winchester His Honour Judge Cutler handed Clay a 15-month prison sentence for death by careless driving and disqualified him from driving for three years, after which, he will be required to take an extended driving test.
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