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
Latest stories from i100
SPONSORED FEATURES
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

The haunting of Shirley Jackson

Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen