Swansea teenager jailed for killing friends in 'worst crash' police officer had ever seen

Two of his passengers, Kaitlyn Davies and Ben Rogers, both 19, died at the scene while a third passenger, Casey Thomas, then aged 17, sustained serious injuries. Credit: South Wales Police

A teenager has been jailed after he killed two of his friends after crashing into a petrol station in Swansea.

Owain Hammett-George, who was 17 at the time, was driving an Alfa Romeo at more than twice the speed limit into the Northway Garage in Bishopston, in May 2022.

Two of his passengers, Kaitlyn Davies and Ben Rogers, both 19, died at the scene while a third passenger, Casey Thomas, then aged 17, sustained serious injuries.

Hammett-George, who is now 19, had previously denied the charges brought against him but last month he changed his plea and admitted two counts of causing death by dangerous driving and one count of causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

Owain Hammett-George, now 19, crashed an Alfa Romeo into the Northway Garage petrol station in Bishopston, Swansea, in May 2022. Credit: South Wales Police

Swansea Crown Court heard the fatal crash happened due to the "grossly excessive speeds" reached by Hammett-George, of Awel Deg, Birchgrove, Swansea.

He lost control of the car and hit a grass bank causing the vehicle to flip into the air and rotate before colliding with a concrete pillar.

An investigation into the crash discovered that Hammett-George was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the collision but had placed the belt into its lock and sat on it in order to stop the car's warning sound and light being activated.

Despite the best efforts of people in attendance both Miss Davies and Mr Rogers died of their injuries at the scene.

Miss Thomas was taken to hospital and is continuing to recover from what were described in court as "life-changing injuries".

Flowers were laid at the scene of the crash at Northway Garage in Swansea. Credit: Media Wales

Two police officers who attended the petrol station after the crash described a scene of "utter devastation" with one describing it as "the worst collision damage they had ever witnessed in more than two decades".

Mr Wright told the court the impact of the crash was so strong that the engine of the Alfa Romeo was discovered 15 metres away from where it actually crashed.

The prosecution said there was no evidence of any pothole and an investigation revealed that at times Hammett-George was driving at more than 70mph, with the car travelling at between 41mph and 43mph at the time of impact.

Alex Greenwood, mitigating, said Hammett-George had sat in the dock and "listened intently" to the words of the families of those whose lives he had so deeply affected with his actions.

In a letter written to the court Hammett-George said he is full of the "deepest and most profound remorse" and that he "can't begin to fathom the pain it has caused".

Hammett-George added: "I was the driver of the vehicle which led to the untimely deaths of two precious lives. I am committed to accepting the legal consequences that will follow as a result. If there was any way I could turn back time and prevent this tragedy I would do so in a heartbeat."

Swansea Crown Court Credit: PA

Addressing Hammett-George, Judge Geraint Walters said: "On this particular evening you were in your motor vehicle with three of your young friends. You were showing off.

"You drove at grossly excessive speeds to the point where you lost control of the vehicle and immediately extinguished the lives of two of those in your car, leaving the third passenger with life-changing consequences both physically and emotionally. "

Judge Walters also noted the "over-indulgence" shown to Hammett-George by his parents and referenced the fact that his father decided to accept punishment on behalf of his son over the speeding offence three months before the fatal Bishopston crash.

Judge Walters added: "I am sadly dealing with cases like this altogether too frequently. There may well be good reason perhaps for the government to consider whether new drivers should be able to carry any passengers. It is not the first time I have said it and it probably won't be the last."

Hammett-George was sentenced to six years in a young offender institution.

He was also disqualified from driving for eight years and told he will need to pass an extended driving test before he is able to obtain a licence again.

Speaking directly to Hammett-George, Judge Walters added: "You have your life. Two of the other people involved in this case do not."

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