SHOCKING MOMENT: ‘Hippie crack’ driver, 23, inhales balloon and uses his phone before killing his 15-year-old cousin in horrific 60mph crash after crashing through a metal barrier
- Cameron Hughes, 23, admitted causing death by dangerous driving yesterday
THIS is the horrific moment a truck driver snorted ‘hippie crack’ and used his phone before killing his 15-year-old cousin in a horrific 60mph crash.
Cameron Hughes, 23, drove through a metal barrier in his Mercedes Sprinter van and fell into a barrier over a dirt track – killing Bonnie Barrow while he was released and survived.
Tragic CCTV footage shows the car heading down the road before failing to turn and crashing into barriers at the edge of the A56 at Honcoat, near Accrington.
In a painful change, the video fades to black, before we see the image return to her looking up at the bridge through a shattered window.
The courier, who admitted causing death by dangerous driving yesterday, has now been jailed for seven-and-a-half years.
He was using his phone to stream music and access Snapchat just seconds before the fatal crash, while none of his cousins were wearing seatbelts.
Police said his car was involved in “several close calls” during the 35-minute journey from Manchester to Great Harwood, Lancashire, including one where he bounced off the curb onto the edge of the motorway at more than 60mph.
Horrifying footage captured inside the car moments before the tragedy shows Hughes inhaling on a balloon filled with nitrous oxide and looking at his phone.
The tattooed driver – wearing a flashy gold watch, a black T-shirt and shorts – dances to the music and is pulled out of the balloon as he drives without his hands on the wheel.
He later appears to be laughing through the clouds, while the third moment shows him cheekily talking on his phone and looking away from the road, while his second hand holds both the steering wheel and the balloon.
Hughes was taking his passenger, Champagne, to a family dinner on July 7, with her mother recalling 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, at Honcoat, near Accrington.
The court heard his Mercedes Sprinter van was traveling at between 62mph and 68mph in a 60mph zone and he approached the intersection at an “inappropriate speed”.
Hughes was thrown from the car and sustained relatively minor injuries, but Boney was thrown toward the windshield and sustained serious injuries.
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.
Hughes admitted causing death by dangerous driving on August 17 and was jailed yesterday at Preston Crown Court.
He was also banned from driving for eight years and nine months.
In an emotional tribute, Bonnie’s mother said he denied her daughter the opportunity to “fully blossom” and become a “beautiful young woman”.
“Bonnie was a wonderful daughter, she was kind and loving, and always wanted to spend time with her family and friends,” she said.
I loved doing all the things teenagers do especially dancing, singing, shopping and making TikTok videos that we cherish.
“We cherish her memories and the joy she brought us throughout the 15 years she was in our lives. We all miss her very much and would do anything to have her back.
“Cameron had one mission that day, which was to get Bonnie back to us safely.”
“But he made dangerous choices that led to her death and cost us the opportunity to watch her fully blossom into the beautiful young woman she became.”
‘Bonnie – I’m so proud to be your mom.
‘The love and laughter you bought into our lives can never be replaced.
“And even though we are now separated, I always have my hand outstretched if I need to hold her.”
Yesterday, a judge at Preston Crown Court jailed Hughes and described his driving as “shocking”, saying a young man’s life had been “needlessly snuffed out”.
Sergeant Laura Kendall, of Lancashire Police’s Serious Collision Investigation Unit, said Hughes was entirely responsible for Bonnie’s death.
She said: “Bonnie was a much-loved teenager whose life was cruelly taken away.
My heart goes out to her family and friends who are deeply affected by her tragic loss.
“Cameron Hughes is entirely responsible for what happened that day in July.
“He chose to take nitrous oxide while driving, use his cell phone while driving and drive dangerously.”
“These avoidable actions led to the devastating collision that caused Bonnie’s death.”
Sergeant Matt Davidson, also from the force’s Serious Collision Investigation Unit, added: “Very often we see traces of drivers under the influence of nitrous oxide.
“It is viewed by many as a harmless drug, but as shown here, the consequences of its misuse can be fatal.
“On November 8, 2023, nitrous oxide will become a Class C controlled drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.”
“We welcome this news in the hope that it will deter this dangerous behavior and prevent other families from going through what Bonnie is experiencing.”
(tags for translation)hippie