Dad’s ‘mistake’ killed son, 12, in horror crash on way to football match
A heartbroken dad wept in the dock as a judge mercifully spared him a jail sentence for causing his son’s death by dangerous driving.
Paul Vines’ 12-year-old son Edward died from head injuries after the horror smash near Bardney, Lincolnshire, on January 16 last year.
Victoria Frost, a passenger in the second car, also sustained serious injuries including four fractured vertebrae and a fractured ankle.
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Vines had been taking Edward, known to family and friends as Ted, to play in an under-12s football match at Branston in Lincolnshire, on January 16 last year. The court heard that he was driving above the 60mph speed limit for that stretch of road.
Handing Vines, 47, a two-year prison sentence, suspended for two years, at Lincoln Crown Court on Monday, Judge Simon Hirst said: "The precise speed that you were driving was unclear. It would appear that you were driving in excess of the speed limit.
"What you were doing is driving far too fast for that piece of road in those particular circumstances.
"The signage setting out that the road was uneven and that you were to reduce speed was not in any way taken in by you."
The judge added: "Had it not been your son in this case who died and had Mrs Frost not been enormously generous in her position, inevitably you would not be walking out of this court today."
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The court heard that Vines was driving a Ford Galaxy on the B1190 above the 60mph speed limit, ignoring signs warning of an uneven road surface, before losing control and colliding with a Mercedes Benz, ending up in a ditch.
The judge said that Mrs Frost could well feel pain from her injuries for the rest of her life. But Mrs Frost expressed in a victim statement that she did not wish for Vines to go to prison.
She said: "I want Mr Vines to know that everyone makes mistakes in life and there is no hate towards him.”
Mrs Frost’s husband and daughter were also injured in the smash.
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Vines pleaded guilty to one count of causing death by dangerous driving and another of causing serious injury by dangerous driving at a hearing on February 9.
The road on which the crash happened had its speed limit reduced from 60mph to 40mph as a result of the incident, Vines' defence barrister said.
In a statement issued after his death, Ted's family said: "Ted was loved by everyone – he was happy, fun and brilliant and had so many people who loved him.
"On Sunday (January 16 2022), he was on his way to play football for Alford Under-12s at Branston, as he was a part of that team.
"Everywhere he went, Ted made friends. He was a special part of the community for everyone."
As well as the suspended sentence, Vines was ordered to complete 200 hours of unpaid work and was disqualified from driving for two years.
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