Delivery driver who inhaled laughing gas at the wheel and caused the death of a 15-year-old passenger after he drove through a metal barrier has been sentenced to seven years in prison.
- Bonnie Rae Barrow suffered horrific injuries in a plane crash off the A56 Accrington Road
- Cameron Hughes, 24, had been using the phone to stream music seconds earlier
A delivery driver who inhaled laughing gas from a yellow balloon while driving and caused the death of his 15-year-old “cousin” after crashing into a metal barrier was jailed today.
Bonnie Barrow suffered horrific injuries when Cameron Hughes, 24, crashed his Mercedes Sprinter into a road barrier on the A56 Accrington Road and fell to the ground.
Bonnie was thrown towards the windshield. She was placed on life support at Wythenshawe Hospital, south Manchester, on July 7, where she died the following day.
Hughes had been using his phone to stream music and access Snapchat just seconds before the fatal crash in Hancot, Lancashire. Neither of them was wearing seat belts.
Today, a judge at Preston Crown Court sentenced Hughes, of Haddington Drive, Blackley, North Manchester, to seven-and-a-half years in prison and described his driving as “shocking”, saying a young man’s life had been “needlessly erased”.
As her grieving mother Sarah Barrow wept as she told how her heart stopped beating the day her “beautiful” daughter died, all he asked Hughes to do was bring Bonnie home safely. He would take her home to have dinner with her family.
Hughes pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving.
Passing sentence, Judge Heather Lloyd said: “This was an absolutely shocking piece of driving and the life of a 15-year-old was needlessly snuffed out.”
“It’s a miracle no one else was wiped out, including you.” This was a tragedy waiting to happen.
Ms Barrow told the court during her emotional statement Hughes was a family friend who grew up with Bonnie and described her as a “cousin.”
On July 7, she recalled how she trusted Hughes to keep her daughter safe on the short trip home.
But at 7.20pm, Hughes left the A56 Accrington lane at the junction with Burnley Road, in Honcoat.
The court heard his Mercedes Sprinter van was traveling at between 62mph and 68mph in a 60mph zone and approached the intersection at an “inappropriate speed”.
Hughes failed to negotiate the left turn and plowed the truck into a barrier over a dirt track.
The truck left the bridge and fell to the ground below, throwing Bonnie Ray toward the windshield.
Hughes was recorded inhaling laughing gas from a yellow balloon before the accident.
Bonnie, from Blakely, was taken to Manchester Royal Children’s Hospital and later transferred to Wythenshawe Hospital where she died just before midnight on July 8.
“Part of my heart stopped beating the day Bonnie’s heart stopped,” Ms Barrow said.
She cried when she said she would never see her daughter finish school, enjoy her own prom, learn to drive, or start a family of her own.
She said Bonnie and Hughes had a close relationship filled with laughter.
Ms Barrow added: “All he had to do that day was be responsible for bringing Bonnie home for our safety, but he risked her life with what he did and cost us our beautiful daughter.”
(Tags for translation) Delivery