Teenager admits girl's crash death

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The Independent Online

A teenage girl has admitted killing a young student in a road accident.

Zoe Couch, 19, crashed her Ford Ka into 16-year-old Roseanne Allen as the college student rode her 49cc moped down a road in Cornwall in January last year.

Truro Crown Court heard today that records showed Couch, of Rose Hill, St Blazey, received a text message to her mobile phone two minutes before she used it to call 999 to report the accident, but that it was impossible to tell whether she had read it prior to the crash.

She admitted causing death by careless driving after the prosecution said they were unable to provide enough evidence for a charge of death by dangerous driving.

Letters were also written to the judge, Recorder John Williams, by Roseanne's parents, asking for the prosecution for dangerous driving, which Couch denied at a previous hearing, to be continued.

Andrew McFarlane, prosecuting, said that, while they knew Couch received a text just before the crash, it was "impossible" to tell whether she had read it while driving. He said there were other factors which could also have contributed to the crash.

"She was driving faster than she should have been," he said.

"The condition of the car may have contributed to the accident as well."

Roseanne, known to her friends as Rosie, died at the scene of the accident on the A3072 Par Moor Road in Par, near St Austell, at about 4.30pm on January 25 last year.

Couch's car ended up in a ditch but she suffered only minor injuries.

Roseanne, from Fowey, Cornwall, was described as a "lovely, bubbly and down-to-earth student" who was also a keen martial artist. She had been studying IT at Cornwall College in St Austell.

Mr Recorder Williams adjourned sentencing, telling a tearful Couch: "The more inevitable sentence will be one of custody."