Woman appears in court charged following Blackhall crash which claimed the lives of toddler and teenager

A Sunderland woman has appeared in court charged in connection with a collision which claimed the lives of two girls and left for others injured.

Friday, 23rd April 2021, 1:21 pm

Mary Michelle Stokes, 23, appeared before Peterlee Magistrates’ Court, where the bench sent the case to Durham Crown Court due to the serious nature of the charges.

They were travelling in a Peugeot 206 when the car was involved in a crash with a van.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Tributes have been left close to the scene of the collision on the A1086 Coast Road between Blackhall Colliery and Horden.

She is also charged with four further allegations of causing serious injury by dangerous driving on the same date, after four people were left hurt in the tragedy.

The case was sent to the crown court to be heard on Friday, May 14, and Stokes was given unconditional bail until that date.

The toddler died on the same day as the crash, while Shauna died the next day after being taken to hospital.

It is understood the girls, who were related to each other and were from Derry in Northern Ireland, had been on their way to a birthday celebration.

A large number of flowers and other items were left close to the scene in tribute to them.

Inquests into their deaths have been opened by the County Durham Coroner’s Office, with the hearings previously been told information was awaited from Durham Constabulary and the Crown Prosecution Service in relation to the inquiry into the crash.

The next hearing is scheduled to take place on Monday, May 10, at Crook Civic Centre.

A joint funeral was held for the girls in Londonderry, where mourners at St Joseph’s Church, in Galliagh, wore T-shirts decorated with photographs of them and an aeroplane flew overhead carrying a message reading ‘2 Beautiful Angels Left 4 Heaven’ flowing behind it.

You can subscribe to this website and enjoy unlimited access to local news, information and puzzles online.

With a digital subscription, you can read more than five articles, see fewer ads, enjoy faster load times, and get access to exclusive newsletters and content.

Simply click ‘Subscribe’ in the menu.