A dangerous driver has been jailed after causing the death of teenager Bethany Ovenden-Gumm in a “devastating” car crash.

Jamie Lee Hitt, 21, admitted causing death by dangerous driving and two counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving at Salisbury Crown Court.

The Calne man also pleaded guilty to causing death while unlicensed and uninsured and was sentenced on Tuesday (February 7).

He was sentenced to eight years in prison, although this was reduced by a third due to his guilty plea.

The crash happened at around 11.40pm on February 5, 2021, when Hitt was driving a Ford Fiesta in The Mead, Westbury, with three passengers – Bethany, Scarlett Clark-Taylor and Megan Hicks.

Hitt lost control of the vehicle and collided with a wall and a tree.

Bethany, 18, died at the scene.

Ms Clark-Taylor and Ms Hicks were rushed to hospital with what the judge described as life-changing injuries.

Investigating officer Pete Fennell said: “There are no winners in this terrible tragedy. It has brought misery to many people. No sentence will ever bring Bethany back or help those who have had their lives changed.

“I would like to pay tribute to the victims and their families. My thoughts remain with Bethany’s family at this difficult time.

“This highlights how devastating dangerous driving can be. In one night, this young man has devastated many people’s lives. I would ask all drivers to think of the potential consequence of their actions.”

Bethany grew up in Westbury. She attended Westbury Infants and then Westbury Leigh School, followed by Kingdown School in Warminster and Brune Park School in Gosport. She then began a childcare course at Wiltshire College Trowbridge, which had been interrupted by the coronvirus pandemic.

She had worked at the Horse & Groom pub in Westbury and loved dancing, funky make up, social media and having a laugh with her family and friends.

She left mum Tracie, dad Ben and stepmother Dawny, who live in Gosport, and siblings Charlie, 27, Tom, 25, Camron, 20, Jessica Julie, 10, Imogen, Paige, Louis and Grace.

Paying tribute to Bethany at the time of the fatal crash almost exactly two years ago, the family said: “What can we say about Bethany? All parents will say their children were amazing and beautiful, and that their loss is the hardest thing to ever have to face. But Beth was truly amazing, gorgeous and so talented.

“Our Beth had the most beautiful smile that lit up any room. She was the life and soul of the party, with a big heart and kind soul.

“Outgoing and caring, her amazing self-taught beauty and hair techniques were perfection and her eyebrows on point.

“She had the world in her hands. She was and will always be a free spirit. She had a way about her that touched so many hearts. Be it her smile, her laugh or just the way she was. She was honestly so perfect.

“She was so strong-minded, so powerful with her confidence and her bright colours will stay with us forever.

“She had a loudness about her and was just the sweetest thing. We couldn’t have had it any better. She lifted everyone’s mood when they were down, she just had that about her and we will always try and keep what she had.

“She has left a massive hole in our hearts. Life will never be the same without her in it.

“She was truly loved by all. Fly high, our beautiful butterfly.”