Young driver accused of causing Lincoln dance student’s death

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A young driver caused a fatal crash when he took a bend too fast, a jury was told on Monday.

Alex Jefford, who was 19 at the time, was driving his girlfriend Gemma Marshall and her friend to pick up another friend in preparation for a planned night out in Lincoln.

However, on the way he lost control of his Peugeot 207 and the car spun off the road at the village of Dunholme and collided with trees, the jury was told.

Both Jefford and Gemma were seriously injured and lost consciousness. Gemma, who was 19 and a second year student at the University of Lincoln, died 10 days later from her injuries. Tributes poured in on social medial following her death.

Kevin Jones, prosecuting, said Lincolnshire Police collision investigator Godfrey Barlow examined the scene and circumstances and concluded that Jefford lost control on the bend. His car then left the road and collided with a tree.

Mr Jones said that Jefford was estimated to have been driving at between 44 and 50mph on a stretch of road where the speed limit was 60mph.

He told the jury at Lincoln Crown Court: “Mr Jefford’s driving fell below the standard of a careful and competent driver in that in negotiating that bend he drove too fast for the conditions.

“Whether through incompetence or inexperience he lost control of the vehicle and it crashed into the trees causing injuries to Gemma from which she died.”

Laura Barratt, a friend of Gemma, who was a rear seat passenger in the car told the jury she had no concerns about Jefford’s driving until he approached the right hand bend on their route to the village of Welton.

“I personally think it was too fast for those conditions and that type of country road.

“The roads were wet. It was dark. Alex didn’t know the road completely. I believe he took the corner too quick for the conditions.

“We went into the bend. I remember feeling the car decelerate slightly as we went round the bend.

“As we came out of the bend I felt the car veer to the left. That’s when the back end of the car stepped out. It spun 180 degrees and began to go down the bank.

“When it stopped both Alex and Gemma were unconscious.”

Alex Jefford, now 21, of Woodside, Branston, denies causing the death of Gemma Marshall, 19, by careless driving as a result of the incident in which his Peugeot car crashed on Lincoln Road, Dunholme on February 3, 2018.

The trial continues on Tuesday.

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