Man charged with causing death by dangerous driving after mother-of-one killed in river plunge

 

A man has been charged with causing death by dangerous driving after a mother-of-one was killed when a car containing five people plummeted into a river.

Police said a 33-year-old from Bristol had been charged in relation to the incident and is also accused of drink-driving and driving without insurance or a licence.

The accident saw a silver BMW crash through railings at Bristol's St Philip's Bridge and into the river Avon, leaving a woman believed to be the front seat passenger and named locally as 22-year-old Namara Whisker dead.

A 21-year-old woman from Bristol who was also being held has been released on police bail pending further enquiries.

The accused man has been refused bail and will appear at Bristol Magistrates' Court tomorrow morning.

Ms Whisker was pronounced dead at the scene after the BMW, containing four other passengers, went into the water at around 4am yesterday.

Relatives of the victim are being supported by a family liaison officer and have asked to be left to grieve their loss.

But friends described the former business studies student, from the Easton area of the city, as "the kindest person you could ever meet" and a "fashion icon".

School friend Shawnika Sergeant, 22, said: "She was so pretty, bubbly and a special girl."

Another friend, who said her name was Charlene, said Ms Whisker has a two-month-old son.

"I can't believe he is going to grow up without his mummy," she added.

Engineers were today working to erect a temporary barrier to cover up the gaping hole in railings over the bridge, where the car plunged 20ft (6m) into the water below.

Several bouquets of flowers lay on a plinth next to the river's edge paying tribute to the dead woman.

Six members of Avon and Somerset Police were taken to hospital in Bristol after leaping into the chilly river to rescue the BMW's occupants but have all returned to work today.

Police Inspector Paul Winship dismissed suggestions that a police vehicle may have been in pursuit of the BMW as it crashed on Passage Street over the river.

"I can confirm this was a straightforward accident involving a single car going off the road," he said.

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Where the spooks get their coffee fix: The busiest Starbucks in the US is also the most secretive

The secret CIA Starbucks

The coffee shop is deep inside the agency's forested Virginia compound
Revealed: How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Loch Ness Monster 'sighting'

How the Establishment closed ranks over fallout from Nessie 'sighting'

The Natural History Museum's chief scientist was dismissed for declaring he had found the monster
One million Britons using food banks, according to Trussell Trust

One million Britons using food banks

Huge surge in number of families dependent on emergency food aid
Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths 2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

2,500 years of history in 3,000 amazing objects

Excavation at Italian cafe to fix rising damp unearths trove
The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey, 25 years on

The Hubble Space Telescope's amazing journey 25 years on

The space telescope was seen as a costly flop on its first release
Did Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

Did Lord Ashcroft quit the House of Lords to become a non-dom?

A document seen by The Independent shows that a week after he resigned from the Lords he sold 350,000 shares in an American company - netting him $11.2m
Apple's ethnic emojis are being used to make racist comments on social media

Ethnic emojis used in racist comments

They were intended to promote harmony, but have achieved the opposite
Sir Kenneth Branagh interview: 'My bones are in the theatre'

Sir Kenneth Branagh: 'My bones are in the theatre'

The actor-turned-director’s new company will stage five plays from October – including works by Shakespeare and John Osborne
The sloth is now the face (and furry body) of three big advertising campaigns

The sloth is the face of three ad campaigns

Priya Elan discovers why slow and sleepy wins the race for brands in need of a new image
How to run a restaurant: As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food

How to run a restaurant

As two newbies discovered, there's more to it than good food
Record Store Day: Remembering an era when buying and selling discs were labours of love

Record Store Day: The vinyl countdown

For Lois Pryce, working in a record shop was a dream job - until the bean counters ruined it
Usher, Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert as part of the Global Poverty Project

Mary J Blige and Will.i.am to give free concert

The concert in Washington is part of the Global Citizen project, which aims to encourage young people to donate to charity
10 best tote bags

Accessorise with a stylish shopper this spring: 10 best tote bags

We find carriers with room for all your essentials (and a bit more)
Paul Scholes column: I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England

Paul Scholes column

I hear Manchester City are closing on Pep Guardiola for next summer – but I'd also love to see Jürgen Klopp managing in England
Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

Jessica Ennis-Hill: 'I just want to give it my best shot'

The heptathlete has gone from the toast of the nation to being a sleep-deprived mum - but she’s ready to compete again. She just doesn't know how well she'll do...