Girl's dreams of being a teacher shattered after twice speed limit crash in Poulton-le-Fylde

Credit: MEN Media

A teenager who dreamed of being a primary school teacher now lives in a care home with long-term brain damage after her boyfriend crashed his car driving twice the speed limit.

Isabella Taylor, then 17, suffered life-changing injuries and has not been able to return home after her boyfriend Jordan Whyte, 20, lost control on a bend.

Whyte, who had only owned the Seat Ibiza for a month, was driving between 61mph and 66mph in a 30 mph zone when he crashed into a tree on Old Toms Lane, Stalmine, Lancashire on on 14 October 2022.

Isabella was pulled from the wreckage and take to Royal Preston Hospital where CT scans and investigations showed she suffered fractured to her arms and injuries to her brain.

On her 18th birthday, she underwent surgery to reduce swelling to her brain.

She also had to have surgery to her face and and doctors say she will have long term problems with cognitive and executive function.

The crash happened on Old Toms Lane in Stalmine, Lancashire. Credit: Google Maps

Preston Crown Court heard the passenger airbag had been disconnected and did not activate - although Whyte did not know it had been switched off.

In a victim impact statement, Isabella's mum Maria said her daughter was looking forward to reaching adult milestones such as applying for university and missed out on hobbies and education.

She now lives in a care home with palliative and neurological patients as her care needs are too high to be managed at home.

She was only able to spend two hours at home on Christmas Day and does not know when she will be able to return.

Maria said her daughter cannot look at her injuries in a mirror and has still to come to terms with what has happened to her.

"She always had a fine brain", Maria said.

"She is clever, funny and thinks outside the box - emotionally intelligent and non-judgemental, always championing the underdog.

"Her story has stopped. Her life experiences have ceased and she has lost the opportunity to forge a happy life experience. She is now a seriously vulnerable young adult."

Jordan White crashed his car into a tree driving twice the speed limit. Credit: Google Maps

Whyte, of Park Lane, Preesall, was also injured in the crash and now walks with sticks and has had to have a stoma fitted due to the injuries he sustained.

The court heard when Isabella regained consciousness, she asked to see Whyte, but he has not seen her since he left hospital, on the advice of her parents and the police.

In a letter of apology, Whyte said he was "truly and deeply sorry" for everyone who had been affected.

"Isabella didn't deserve this in any way", he said. "We spent a lot of time together prior to the collision and I admired her greatly.

"It saddens me to see this is what I have caused. Not a day goes by when I don't think about Isabella and feel the utmost guilt for my actions.

"I wish I could go back in time. It is very hard to think I have hurt an damaged someone I love."

Mr Humphries, defending, said Whyte has been unable to return to work as an apprentice butcher, but was well thought of by his employer.

A probation report said there is a low risk of Whyte reoffending and he has no previous convictions.

Sentencing, Recorder Neil Owen-Casey, said: "I have seen the photographs of the car.

"When I look at the damage to that vehicle it is a miracle the injuries were not even more serious for Isabella and indeed yourself.

"How anyone was able to walk away from what is an absolute mangled wreckage is bewildering. Isabella was 17.

"I appreciate you were young too but she was still a minor and not able to take advantage of all the advantages and opportunities adulthood would have brought to her. "

The judge described Whyte's driving as "an extreme piece of risk taking" and said it was fortunate there were no pedestrians waiting at the nearby bus stop.

However he also accepted Whyte has been seriously injured in the collision and stands a realistic prospect of rehabilitation.

He sentenced him to 11 months suspended for 18 months with 10 days of rehabilitation activity requirements and an 18 month driving ban.

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