20-year-old Yaashmi Ravikumar has been sentenced to 18 months in custody after admitting causing death by dangerous driving following last year’s fatal crash on Forest Road on the outskirts of Newport.
1 person died, 4 people were seriously injured and 15 others sustained minor injuries in the collision on 14th April 2019, which was declared a major incident. The crash involved 2 cars – including Ravikumar’s silver Mini One – and a Southern Vectis double-decker bus.
A total of 4 air ambulances were scrambled to the scene at Vittlefields Cross alongside local paramedics, Police and multiple fire crews. 64-year-old Yvonne Copland tragically lost her life in the crash, whilst her husband Derrick sustained serious injuries and spent 7 weeks in intensive care. Warren Copland, their son, and his partner Richard Wealsby were also seriously injured, as was bus driver Stephen Pitman.
Ravikumar simply failed to stop at the junction of Whitehouse Road and Forest Road, pulling out in front of the Route 7 double decker. The bus driver was unable to avoid hitting the Mini and was in turn forced into the path of the Copland’s oncoming Fiat.
It is said that Ravikumar, who had 3 friends in the vehicle at the time of the collision, failed to spot the road markings and signs laid out.
Yaashmi Ravikumar, of Buller Road in Laindon, Essex has today (Monday) – her birthday – been sentenced to 18 months for causing death by dangerous driving, with half of the sentence to be served in a young offenders institute. The mathematics student and financial assistant also received 12 months for 4 counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving, to run concurrently.
She is expected to serve just 9 months in custody before being released on licence.
Judge Susan Evans QC also decided to ban Yasshmi from driving for a total of 33 months – less than 3 years. She must take an extended driving test to get her licence back.
In passing sentence, Judge Evans said that the teenager, who was just 18 at the time of the crash, had made a catastrophic error having failed to notice 2 give way signs, a vehicle turning ahead of her, a change in road surface and road markings.
Sgt Jonathan Bates, who investigated the collision, has said:
“This was a tragic case, and we can’t stress enough to people about the impact that dangerous driving can have on others.
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“Our thoughts are with Yvonne’s family, Mr Pitman, and all those who have been affected by this collision.”
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