A teenager who killed a pensioner and seriously injured her husband in a road smash as they were being driven to the airport for a holiday has been jailed for five years.
Rahul Pandey, 18, ploughed into a car carrying Shirley Conington, 75, and her husband David Conington, 76, on Main Road, Biggin Hill, Kent, on 11 October 2017.
Mrs Conington was killed in the collision and her husband was left with serious injuries including fractures in his leg and pelvis, the Old Bailey heard.
Pandey, who had spent the evening working in an Indian restaurant, took a corner at almost double the 30mph limit and lost control of his red Vauxhall Corsa.
He swerved over to the wrong side of the road and slammed head-on into the vehicle carrying the couple who were being dropped to Gatwick Airport by their daughter.
They had been married for 56 years at the time of the crash.
Pandey has a previous conviction for taking his father’s Nissan Micra without his consent when he was just 15, the court heard.
Judge Rebecca Poulet, QC, told the teenager: ‘You either lost control of the vehicle or you fell asleep at the wheel, whichever it was you went swiftly into the on-coming lane directly into the path of Mrs Connington’s vehicle.
‘I have very much in mind the deep sorrow and anguish which has been afflicted on Mr Connington.
‘It had terrible consequences. You were clearly speeding.
‘Your driving created a substantial risk of danger and this is undoubtedly the case.
‘I have to take into account the serious injuries to another passenger in addition to injuries to the deceased and injuries to the driver.
‘You maintain you simply lost control on a bend but I believe that it may be quite possible that you fell asleep at the wheel.’
Pandey was sentenced to five years in a young offenders’ institution and banned from driving for six and a half years. He will have to take an extended test, once the ban elapses, if he wishes to drive again.
Pandey, of Ravensworth Road, Mottingham, southeast London, admitted causing death by dangerous driving and causing serious injury by dangerous driving.