Teenager banned from driving

A GIGGLING driver who jerked her steering wheel to career her car across the road before it crashed is banned from driving today.Teenager Laura Rushall's stupidity ended with her three passengers requiring hospital treatment after she hit a lamppost in Felixstowe, despite them begging her to stop messing around.

A GIGGLING driver who jerked her steering wheel to career her car across the road before it crashed is banned from driving today.

Teenager Laura Rushall's stupidity ended with her three passengers requiring hospital treatment after she hit a lamppost in Felixstowe, despite them begging her to stop messing around.

After admitting careless or inconsiderate driving, the weeping 18-year-old from Kitchener Road, Ipswich, told the town's magistrates: “I'm sorry. I shouldn't have done it. I have made the biggest mistake of my life. I could have killed my passengers and other people because of my stupidity.”

South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court heard Rushall had left the Owl and Pussycat public house in Felixstowe on January 7 and was driving towards the town's docks at 9.20pm when she lost control of her Rover 25.


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Prosecutor Naomi Turner said Rushall, who had only held a full licence for five months, accelerated up to speeds of 40-50mph in a 30mph zone.

She then started to swerve across the carriageway. One passenger told police she felt sick and had asked Rushall to stop.

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The teenager then hit the kerb as she misjudged a left-hand bend, mounted the pavement and hit a lamppost.

Three passengers in the car required treatment at Ipswich Hospital for an assortment of problems including chest, back and whiplash injuries, as well as bruising. One of them also broke a bone in their hand.

Mrs Turner said when Rushall was interviewed by police she told them she had been driving in Walton Avenue and the conditions were wet, dark and windy. She admitted speeding and said the music in her car was loud.

She told officers she was 'dancing with the steering wheel' and jerked it from side to side, but failed to take into account the left hand bend. Rushall confirmed to officers that the collision was caused by her messing around.

Chairman of the bench Bernard Turner disqualified Rushall from driving for six months. She was also fined £90 and ordered to pay £35 prosecution costs.

Mr Turner said magistrates regarded the matter as a serious one, given the excess speed Rushall was driving at, the poor road conditions, the treatment required for her injured passengers and that she deliberately swerved her car for no reason.

Mr Turner added: “The pleas of your passengers were disregarded. At one stage we have heard you found it amusing.”

N What do you think about Rushall's sentence? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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