'Lunatic' crash driver Emma Walker is jailed

A teaching assistant has been jailed for causing devastating injuries to her three passengers when she crashed while driving "like a lunatic".

Emma Walker, 22, of Bridgend, South Wales, crashed near Cullompton, Devon, in July 2013, Exeter Crown Court heard.

One passenger nearly died, another's sporting career was ended and the third broke his neck.

Walker admitted three offences of causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

She was jailed for 16 months.

'Dancing in seat'

The court heard that Walker was taking three friends on a camping trip to Honiton when she took a corner in a 30mph zone at about 60mph.

She veered on to the wrong side of the road where she crashed head-on into a passing car.

Front-seat passenger Rebecca Nott, 20, almost died. She spent five months in hospital with severe brain injuries which have left her permanently injured and with restricted eyesight.

She had been due to start a new job as a skating instructor in Cardiff but now walks with a limp.

Back-seat passenger MacAuley Eccles, 17, was a trialist for the Welsh Under-18 basketball team but has been forced to abandon his dreams of becoming a professional player.

The other back-seat passenger Peter Bebb, 26, suffered a broken neck and ruptured spleen.

Judge Francis Gilbert QC told Walker: "A witness who saw you shortly before the accident said you were driving like a bloody lunatic and you were using your mobile phone, probably not to make calls but to change the music.

"You were dancing in your seat to the music and taking both hands off the steering wheel and that was extremely irresponsible and dangerous.

"The result was devastating to your three passengers."

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