Schoolgirl’s parents weep as speeding driver is jailed for killing 14-year-old daughter
A speeding driver has today been jailed for nine years for mowing down and killing a teenage girl who was walking along a pavement ‘hand in hand’ with a friend.
Tragic Tehleigher Bunting, 14, died instantly in the horrific crash near her home.
Jobless Aaron Carter, 38, who was high on cannabis, was driving nearly twice the speed limit and ‘like a bullet’ when he ‘dangerously’ overtook and swerved to avoid an oncoming car, losing control and hitting the schoolgirl, Leicester Crown Court heard today.
Carter, who suffers from seizures, had been repeatedly warned not to drive and surrender his licence to DVLA but was not banned.
Jobless Aaron Carter, 38, (pictured) who was high on cannabis, was driving nearly twice the speed limit and ‘like a bullet’ when he ‘dangerously’ overtook and swerved to avoid an oncoming car, losing control and hitting the schoolgirl, Leicester Crown Court heard today
Tehleigher Bunting, 14 (right), died in a collision which saw a Vauxhall Astra drive off the road and smash into her and a friend whilst they were walking on the pavement
Tehleigher’s heartbroken parents, Shane Patterson and Zoe Dent from Braunstone, West Leicester, accompanied by 16 family members, wept as the killer was sentenced.
His Honour Judge Mark Watson said: ‘Tehleigher stood no chance. You were going at 55mph give it take five miles and swerved and lost control striking the near side kerb after a very dangerous overtaking manoeuvre which had catastrophic consequences. You showed selfish disregard towards others.’
Paying tribute to their ‘beautiful’, ‘bright’ and ‘so loving’ daughter they described as ‘our world’ and who was tragically killed by a dangerous driver.
Tehleigher’s devastated stepfather, Shane Patterson, said she was ‘well-liked’ by all, always putting others ahead of herself and loved spending time with her family
Shane Patterson and Zoe Dent of Leicester said: ‘Wednesday 26 October is a day that will live long in our memories – it’s a day that our lives changed forever.’
Remembering their cherished daughter, 14, they said: ‘From the day she was born, Tehleigher was our world. She grew up to be a confident and beautiful young girl who was so loving and affectionate.
‘She was an intelligent and bright teenager. She was aspirational and was working hard at school to get grades that meant she’d be able to join either the army or the police.’
Tehleigher died in the crash while a second teenage girl was left with non-life-changing injuries
In a statement issued by Leicestershire Police following her killer being jailed for nine years today, they added: ‘There isn’t a day that passes when we don’t miss her. Her loss has impacted the entire family, particularly her siblings who miss her dearly.
‘Not only was she a daughter and a sister, she was a best friend to all of us.’
They continued: ‘As a parent, you never expect that you’ll one day be talking about the death of your children and doing so now is still something we’re struggling to come to terms with. Christmas wasn’t the same. It didn’t feel right sitting at a table with an empty space and it’s a feeling that’s never going to go away.
‘We love you, Tehleigher, and we always will. Our light, our beautiful girl, our life.
The court heard that loner Carter from Leicester, who had pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving at a previous hearing, had suffered a seizure in front of his mother just a week before the smash in October last year.
Prosecutor Jonathan Dunne told how Tehleigher was with her friend Ebony when she should have been at school.
The pair were walking along the pavement ‘hand in hand’ at about 11am when Carter lost control of his black Vauxhall Astra on Braunstone Lane near the junction with Mortimer Way, Leicester.
Mr Dunne said witnessed said he was ‘driving erratically’ and ‘very, very fast’ with one saying he was going ‘like a bullet.’
Mr Patterson spoke about growing close and spending a lot of time with Tehleigher in the months before the crash as she started to grow up and develop her great sense of humour which would always make him laugh
Tehleigher Bunting is pictured with her family on holiday. Tehleigher’s heartbroken parents, Shane Patterson and Zoe Dent from Braunstone, West Leicester, accompanied by 16 family members, wept as the killer was sentenced at Leicester Crown Court
He continued: ‘They heard a massive crash and the car hit a telegraph pole and a signpost at a spied of 55mph, with a margin of error of 5mph, in a 30mph limit’ before ploughing into the teenager.
‘The car landed upside down and people came to Telhleigher’s aid immediately.’
An off-duty police officer at the scene described the driver as having ‘eyes glazed and sweating profusely’ and appearing ‘animalistic’, the court heard.
She believed he was ‘under the influence of intoxicants.’
Carter had a documented history if suffering from epileptic fits and had experienced one just a week before the crash on October 26 last year.
He had failed to attend doctor’s appointments for treatment, has failed and to medication and had been advised not to drive.