Hayes crash: Driver admits killing three teenagers at London bus stop

‘The loss is immeasurable,’ police say after boys aged 16 and 17 killed on way to friend’s birthday party

Lizzie Dearden
Home Affairs Correspondent
@lizziedearden
Monday 26 February 2018 12:07
Three teenagers dead after collision at bus stop in Hayes

A drunk driver has admitted killing three teenage boys as they made their way to a 16th birthday party in London.

Jaynesh Chudasama pleaded guilty to three counts of causing death by dangerous driving at the Old Bailey over the tragedy on 26 January.

The 28-year-old was behind the wheel of a speeding Audi that mounted a pavement and ploughed into a group of friends near a bus stop on Shepiston Lane in Hayes.

He hung his head and spoke softly to enter the pleas in a courtroom packed with the victims’ relatives and friends.

Harry Louis Rice, 17, George Toby Wilkinson, 16, and Josh McGuinness, also 16, all died at the scene.

They had been walking towards the Goals five-a-side football club at about 8.40pm on their way to a friend’s party.

The trio attended Harefield Academy in Uxbridge until the summer, with George going on to become an apprentice electrician, Josh working as a labourer and Harry becoming a semi-professional footballer.

Chudasama was more than twice over the legal alcohol limit when his black Audi ploughed into the bus stop

Prosecutor Crispin Aylett QC said Chudasama, a car rental firm employee, had been drinking at the time of the crash and was found to be more than two-and-a-half times over the limit.

CCTV showed him overtaking another vehicle at 71mph in the 60mph zone, before losing control of the car and hitting the victims, prosecutors said.

The victims flew into the air and the defendant’s car spun around in the road, the court heard.

George died instantly, with a girl holding his hand as he lay partly on the road and partly on the pavement, while Joshua was thrown over a fence into a nearby cemetery.

Harry was carried on the bonnet of the car until it crashed into the cemetery wall, leaving him with fatal injuries.

Witnesses described seeing their distraught friends trying to help a lone paramedic unload equipment from a rapid response car before the ambulance arrived.

Amamdeep Matharoo, 27, said: “The lads were shouting on the phone. They were saying, ‘three of our friends are dead’. They were hysterical and in pieces.”

Chudasama and a passenger got out of the car and ran towards a nearby petrol station after hitting the teenagers, being chased by two of the victims’ friends.

One of them hit Chudasama over the head with a bottle to stop him getting him away. The driver was dragged back to the scene and his friend escaped.

The teenagers were angered when an officer responding to the crash went to help Chudasama, after passing drivers mistook the incident for an attack.

Judge Wendy Joseph QC noted that the boys were in a group of eight children when they were killed and that there could have been further “appalling” loss of life.

Detective Sergeant Jane Shaw said: “Three key decisions were made that night, the first by Chudasama, the driver, who decided to drive having consumed alcohol and then running from the scene, followed by the decisions of two young men who decided to stay at the devastating scene and detain him. These actions speak volumes as to the characters of the three.

“The parents of the boys whose lives were so tragically ended have, while dealing with overwhelming grief, made efforts to highlight the human cost of dangerous driving in the hope that other families can be spared the pain that they now face.

“In a matter of moments, three young lives were over. The loss is immeasurable.”

A 34-year-old man who turned himself into police two days after the crash was arrested in connection with the incident and released under investigation.

Sentencing has been adjourned until 9 March to give time for victim impact statements to be completed.

Additional reporting by PA