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Teenager was killed by ‘road rage’ driver in Sunderland street, court told

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A TEENAGE college student was killed by rage-fuelled driver who acted as if he “owned the road”, a court heard.

Sarah Jane Burke was flung 20m and suffered catastrophic injuries when she was struck by David Baillie’s Volvo on Ormonde Street, Sunderland, on September 17 last year.

The talented teenager, who was excelling on an art and design course at Sunderland College, suffered multiple fractures and a brain injury, which took her life five days later.

Her parents and sister, who she lived with, were left devastated by her death.

Prosecutors say Baillie was “consumed by a determination to overtake at all costs” when he ploughed into the teenager.

Newcastle Crown Court heard 17-year-old Sarah had been crossing the road on her way home from classes when she was hit by Baillie, who had a woman and small child with him in the car, as he tried to dangerously overtake a Vauxhall Corsa.

Witnesses claim Baillie had been “tailgating” the other vehicle from Barnes Park Road and had hit Sarah in his desperate effort to get in front.

One motorist said he thought Baillie was a “road rage” driver and another said he thought Baillie’s Volvo must be either stolen or being chased.

Baillie, of Magdelene Place, Sunderland, denies causing death by dangerous driving and is being tried by a jury. He has pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving.

Jurors were shown footage which was picked up by a passing bus and showed Sarah making her way home along Ormonde Street. A second set of footage, picked up by a camera on another bus, showed the aftermath of the tragedy.

Prosecutor Nick Dry told the court: “Witnesses watched in horror as she was struck and thrown into the air before coming to the ground, head-first.

“She was taken to the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle by air ambulance. Sadly, she died of her injuries five days later.”

The court heard Baillie initially blamed the Corsa driver for causing the accident but went on to admit in police interview that his driving had been dangerous as he had been paying more attention to the other motorist than to the road ahead.

Mr Dry said: “He conceded his driving was dangerous, particularly the action to overtake on a busy, 30mph street with blind junctions, approaching traffic lights at a time when he was not focused on the road ahead.”

Mr Dry said after Sarah died, Baillie “changed his mind” and now says his driving was careless not dangerous

The trial continues

 
 
 

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