Blyth man who caused Teegan Waters' death in high speed crash is jailed

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A young driver who killed his would-be girlfriend in a horror crash after he drove at speeds of up to 150mph to "show off" has been jailed.

Declan Stubbs, now 22, had been to collect Teegan Waters, 20, and her two friends David Goward, 18, and Mark Chrisp, 19, after the three had enjoyed a night out in Blyth, Northumberland, in August 2022.

Newcastle Crown Court heard Miss Waters, who was known as Teegs, and the two males had been out separately before they bumped into each other in a bar and continued to socialise for the rest of the night.

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Miss Waters later contacted Stubbs to ask for a lift home and he arrived shortly afterwards in his Ford Fiesta.

Declan Stubbs, from Blyth, was sentenced at Newcastle Crown Court.Declan Stubbs, from Blyth, was sentenced at Newcastle Crown Court.
Declan Stubbs, from Blyth, was sentenced at Newcastle Crown Court.

He spent some time inside the club before the group eventually left and headed towards the Spine Road dual carriageway.

The defendant drove to his house first to collect a charging point before they headed south to Moor Farm roundabout services, where one of the males purchased cigarettes, alcohol, and soft drinks.

Stubbs then headed north past Blyth towards Ashington but as they approached a bend in the road close to the Three Horse Shoes roundabout, the car lost control and crashed into the central barrier, before it flipped and rolled, hit a tree and then came to rest in a nearby field.

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Emergency services were called shortly before 3.50am but sadly Ms Waters, who was the front-seat passenger, could not saved.

Declan Stubbs. Picture: Northumbria PoliceDeclan Stubbs. Picture: Northumbria Police
Declan Stubbs. Picture: Northumbria Police

Mr Goward was taken to hospital where he was treated for chest and facial injuries while Mr Chrisp suffered fractures to his spine which needed surgery. Both men survived but continue to have lasting physical affects.

Stubbs, of Admiral Court, Blyth, who had one previous driving conviction for speeding, pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving and two counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

The court heard Stubbs wanted to make Miss Waters his girlfriend, and the pair had plans for the following day.

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Whilst a road-side breath test indicated no traces of alcohol, he was found to have cannabis and cocaine in his system - though the court heard not enough to impair his driving.

He has been sentenced to nine years and eight months behind bars.

In a victim impact statement, Teegan's mum Lindsay said: "To understand the impact of the loss of Teegs has had on our lives, you need to understand the person she was and the irreplaceable bond we shared which has left our hearts so empty.

"She was the most beautiful, kind and thoughtful girl who always put others first. She was so loved by everyone who met her and had a huge impact on people.

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"She was so pleased when she passed her GCSEs. She loved to dance and would have probably been a dance teacher if she had the opportunity.

"We have struggled financially as a family due to the time we have had to have off work due to the loss of Teegs.

"All I'm left with now are memories of my beautiful girl and the dreams when she comes to visit me.

"Teegan's father struggles to say her name and sleeps in her bedroom just to feel close to her. The pain of losing his girl will never sit right with him and he refuses to come to terms with his loss.

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"The passing of Teegs has affected the smallest and minimal things in life. Even going on car journeys can be traumatic for us.

"As a family we will never get over the loss of Teegs. There will always be an empty bedroom, an empty chair at birthdays and Christmases.

"We are truly broken and life will never be the same."

Following the collision, road traffic investigators concluded that the smash was caused as a result of excess speed and driving error.

Police calculated that Stubbs was driving at an estimated 146mph when he lost control on the bend.

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However in his initial police interview, he told officers he believed to be travelling at 72mph in the moments leading up to the crash.

Judge Julie Clemitson said that no sentence could ever compensate for the loss of Miss Waters.

She said: "Mr Goward and Mr Chrisp had gone out together. They had gone to watch a boxing match and they had both been drinking.

"During the night they bumped into Teegan Waters who had asked you to pick her up which you did.

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"When there were no taxis running you agreed to give everyone a lift. You set off to drop those two men at a party and Teegan was going home with you as you planned to spend the following day together.

"You stopped off at your home to pick up a charger and then stopped at a service station so your passenger could buy cigarettes and alcohol.

"On the way to that service station you had been driving far too fast. Evidence taken from the car's system revealed you had been travelling up to a speed far in excess of the speed limit even before you got to the shop.

"It was three in the morning, it was pitch black, there were very few other car users about. Both of your rear passengers noticed your speed on the speedometer.

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"Mr Goward looked up from his phone to see the speed of what he thought was 148mph on the speedometer."

The judge added: "It's not clear how the crash occurred. You lost control of the car, colliding with the central crash barrier.

"Teegan was 20, she was the same age as you. She suffered a catastrophic head injury. Attempts to assist her at the scene were to no avail.

"This was the consequence of you choosing to drive at breathtakingly dangerous speeds.

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"I can think of no reason for you to drive in this way other than you were showing off."

Stubbs was also banned from driving for 11-and-a-half years and must pass an extended re-test after his release.

Andrew Walker, defending, said the incident will "forever haunt" Stubbs – who also suffered fractures to vertebrae in his neck.

Mr Walker told the court: "He can't explain it, he will always regret it. He is remorseful and is still distraught.

"He stayed at the scene. He tried to raise the alarm and he immediately admitted being the driver."