Glasgow & West Scotland

Speeding driver James Neill admits killing Natasha Clark

James Neill Image copyright Spindrift
Image caption Neill had been driving at speeds of up to 110mph before the crash

A speeding driver who lost control of his car on a country road has admitted causing the death of a teenage girl.

James Neill, 35, from Tarbert, Argyll, crashed his Honda Civic on the A83, near Erines, on 20 August 2012.

His three passengers were injured, including 17-year-old Natasha Clark, who later died in hospital.

The High Court in Paisley heard how Neill had driven at speeds of up to 110mph. Sentence was deferred and he was remanded in custody.

The court head how Neill was repeatedly told to slow down and "stop pushing it" by his three passengers.

Boulder hit

One local motorist, Davie Russell, who was driving in the opposite direction before the crash, told police that it was the fastest he had ever seen a car travelling on that road.

Neill lost control of the car as it entered a bend heading towards Tarbert. It was later estimated he had been driving in excess of 70mph at the time.

The vehicle spun over to the side of the road and hit a huge boulder, then bounced back into the centre of the road.

The force of the impact trapped 17-year-old Natasha and her friend Sandra Harvey, who were in the back seat.

Neill and his friend Sean McGregor, who were in the front, sustained minor injuries.

Ms Clark, who worked as a shop assistant at the Co-op in Lochgilphead, was airlifted to Glasgow Royal Infirmary, but died the following day from multiple injuries.

Ms Harvey suffered a broken leg and a suspected spinal injury.

Speeding denial

The court heard that in the immediate aftermath of the crash, Mr McGregor rushed back to try to help the two women and shouted to Neill to get help.

At this point Neill said: "I wasn't speeding."

Neill then used his mobile phone to call a friend. He told her he had crashed the car and asked if she could come and get him.

Minutes later other cars stopped at the scene. One of the drivers called the emergency services and then helped a medical student to assist Ms Clark until the paramedics arrived.

Neill pleaded guilty to causing the death of Ms Clark by driving dangerously and at excessive speed.

Judge Lord Stewart deferred sentence on Neill until next month for background reports and remanded him in custody.

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