Teen drink-driver kills herself and best friend in crash


Shaya Leigh

A teenage motorist killed herself and her best friend, and left two others with life-changing injuries, after she crashed her car at high speed on a dual carriageway while drunk.

18-year-old Shaya Leigh was twice over the legal alcohol limit when her Renault Clio came off the A419 just outside Swindon.

Both she and front-seat passenger Kerry Staniford, 17, were killed as the car spun and rolled over after Ms Leigh braked suddenly for no reason at around 90mph.

Neither had been wearing their seatbelt correctly. Ms Leigh was later found dead in the driver's seat, while Ms Staniford was thrown through the front windscreen and into the path of the car as it careered off the road.

All three passengers in the rear of the car suffered multiple injuries, with two having to relearn how to walk after they were ejected from the car through the rear windscreen and sunroof.

The third escaped with relatively minor injuries, largely due to him being the only passenger wearing his seatbelt. Even so, the violence of the impact saw his head forced through the rear passenger window.

Giving evidence at an inquest into the accident, which occurred in May, survivor Jordan Gilliver, 20, said: "I have no memory of the crash itself.

"The day of the crash was my birthday, and the day before I had been at a party.

"Although initially I did not have my seat belt on, I put it on because there was a lot of messing about, and Shaya was playing with the brakes.

"At one point Kerry was dangling her legs out of the window of the car."

Police accident investigator Pc James Trafford, explained how the crash occurred: "The car was travelling in lane two and had no other traffic around it. There was a heavy braking mark on the road, for which there is no visible reason.

"It is clear that Shaya braked very hard, hard enough for the lock brakes to kick in. She has then steered to the left harshly, about half a second after putting on the brakes.

"The rear of the car then spun round and at that point Shaya would not have been able to recover control."

A narrative verdict of death resulting from a road traffic accident was recorded for both of the deceased.