Washington driver sentenced after killing boy, 13, on bike

Gregg Lewis Maguire, 13-year-old who died after being hit by a car driven by Kayn Galer in Washington. Galer pleaded gulity to causing death by careless driving.
Gregg Lewis Mcguire, 13, was riding his bike when he was hit by a car and killed. Credit: Northumbria Police

A speeding driver who smashed into a 13-year-old boy on his bike and killed him has been locked up for nine months.

Kayn Galer was "flying" along without insurance in a modified Vauxhall Corsa VRM when Gregg McGuire cycled out in front of him.

A court heard he was doing more than 46mph in a 30mph zone and despite braking, he hit the youngster, causing a catastrophic head injury from which he died two days later.

After hitting into Gregg, Galer, who was on his way to meet fellow car enthusiasts, fled the scene, driving dangerously at speed with a smashed windscreen, before returning and lying to police about his speed.

Newcastle Crown Court heard Galer had passed his driving test nine months before the crash but had already received two police warnings over his driving, including one six weeks before the fatal collision.

As he was jailed for causing death by careless driving, as well as dangerous driving after the collision, having no insurance and failing to stop after an accident, Gregg's mum's spoke of her devastation at the loss of the much-loved football-mad Newcastle United fan.

Gregg had left home at 7:50pm on August 14 last year to go to his uncle's house for a sleepover and was riding his bike with bright clothing but without wearing a helmet when he was struck by Galer's speeding car.

Kayn Galer was jailed for nine months and will be banned from driving for three years. Credit: NCJMEDIA SYNDICATION

The Corsa had come to the attention of a bus driver because of the manner of the driving, which he described as "flying toward us" and said he thought "he's doing a ton". He could hear the sound of Galer's engine above that of his bus.

As Gregg emerged onto Silverstone Road, in Sulgrave, Washington, he was hit by the Corsa. Galer braked before the collision but due to his excessive speed, he was unable to avoid a collision.

He was doing between 20mph and 29mph at the point of impact, after braking. But he was doing more than 46mph before braking.

Gavin Doig, prosecuting, said: "The bus driver saw the defendant collide with something and something flew into the air. He was not aware of what he had hit at that time.

"The defendant didn't stop. He slowed down, then the bus driver said he 'took off, like literally stormed off".

With Gregg lying fatally injured in the road, Galer dangerously sped off, despite having a smashed windscreen. He was seen taking a corner so fast he crossed onto the wrong side of the road and he was doing up to 56mph in a 30 zone after the crash.

Mr Doig said: "The defendant's vehicle had a badly damaged windscreen with effectively zero visibility because of the collion with Gregg."

He parked up at some industrial units around half a mile from the scene and told friends and fellow car enthusiasts "I've hit someone".

He then drove back to the scene but continued to travel at excess speed and was "nearly having to hang out of the driver's window to see ahead, such was the damage to the windscreen".

He lied to police at the scene, saying he had been doing 30mph then said 20mph.

A local resident had gone to attend to Gregg, who was lying in the road and the emergency services were called.

He had been rendered unconscious instantaneously and died on August 16 as a result of catastrophic head injuries.

In a victim impact statement, his mum, Alison Rudkin, said Gregg loved football and was a big fan of Newcastle United and dreamed of being a footballer - with his back-up plan being to fly helicopters in the army.

She added: "He was such a funny character and always had us laughing. He could achieve anything he put his mind to.

"He was the glue in our family. No mother should have to watch their fit and health 13-year-old boy die."

She added that the thought of him lying alone in the road is "torture" and in her nightmares and said: "I pray Gregg was not in pain and was unaware the driver had left him. I'm so thankful to the people that did try to help him."

Mrs Rudkin went on: "Life without Gregg is not a life worth living. Life is a living hell. He was my baby boy, my everything."

She added that kisses used to heal everything and said: "I kissed him about a thousand times in his last few days."

The court heard the Corsa had been modified to increase performance and handling but not by Galer.

He had received two warnings from police - known as "section 59 notices" in the weeks and months before the crash.

He got one on January 31 last year after he appeared to be racing another driver. Then on June 24 he got another warning for entering a Tesco car park at speed and driving carelessly. Those two incidents were not in the Corsa.

Galer, 20, of Pinewood Avenue, Harraton, Washington, who pleaded guilty, was sentenced to nine months in prison and will be banned from driving for three years when he is released.

Judge Paul Sloan KC told him: "Gregg McGuire was a popular, happy, caring boy who had his whole life before him. Now, because of your actions that evening, his family have been left utterly broken.

"No sentence I am permitted by law to impose can even begin to ease their pain and suffering, pain and suffering that will remain with them for the rest of their lives."

Nick Lane, defending, said: "The defendant accepts full responsibility for his actions and he is remorseful for his behaviour on that day in August.

"It was a new vehicle to him. It had been modified but not by him."

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