Teenage drink driver and best friend killed in 87mph horror crash after fooling around with three others in the back seat
A pretty teenaged drink-driver and her best friend were killed in an 87mph horror crash after fooling around in a car with three other pals in the back seat.
Shaya Leigh, 18, was twice over the legal alcohol limit and playing with her brakes while front seat passenger Kerrylee O’Leary-Staniford, 17, dangled her feet out of the window.
Three backseat passengers were left with multiple injuries – two are re-learning how to walk – after Shaya braked for no reason and lost control of her silver Renault Clio.
Neither girl was wearing their seatbelt properly as they tore along a dual carriageway at 5am after an evening’s drinking, an inquest heard.
The car spun round and corkscrewed through the air, flinging three of the passengers out as it careered 50 metres off the A419 outside Swindon, Wilts.
Kerry was thrown through the windscreen and into the path of the car while Shaya was found dead in the driver’s seat with the seatbelt only on her lap.
Survivor Harry Livingstone, 20, who was in the middle rear seat, was thrown out of the back windscreen and ended up underneath the vehicle.
Jake Gibbons, 20, was flung through the sun roof and landed 10 metres from the car.
The only survivor left in their original position was Jordan Gilliver, 20, who was wearing his seat belt in the back. His head was forced out through the broken side window.
Jake and Jordan are still learning to walk nearly seven months after the accident on May 18 and have recently returned home.
The inquest heard how Shaya and Kerrylee had been drinking in Swindon’s Old Town before they went to pick up the three lads.
Jordan told the coroner: “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.
“I met a friend at 9pm and at 4.30am was picked up by Shaya. I think the plan was to go back to Kerry’s house.
“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.”
Jake Gibbons described the moments before the crash and said: “The car suddenly veered off to the left.
“It left the road and started to turn over. I have no memory after that.”
Accident investigator Pc James Trafford said: “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.”
Pc Trafford said the car came to rest down a bank by the side of the dual carriageway about 50 metres from the road.
The speed limit on the road is 70mph and he said the car’s estimated speed was between 73 and 87mph when Shaya suddenly braked.
Motorist John Little, who was heading to Heathrow with his wife, said: “I noticed something out of the corner of my eye.
“I looked out of my window and saw a small hatchback lift about two feet off the ground and roll over toward the driver’s side.
“I looked in my rear mirror and saw dust and debris flying up. I braked hard to turn and locate the car, but got lost.”
Ian Singleton, the assistant coroner for Wiltshire: “This is clearly a tragic incident involving the loss of two young girls’ lives.
“I would like to commend officers who attended the scene for preventing further loss of life.”
A narrative verdict of death as a result of the road traffic accident was recorded for both victims.