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Taunton driver cleared of killing student, 21, in Devon crash
A MOTORIST from Taunton has been cleared of causing the death of a young student by careless driving.
Jack Carter, 22, of Haines Hill, stood trial at Exeter Crown Court this week charged with causing the death of 21-year-old Catherine Hamer in May last year.
Mr Carter was cleared of the charge, having earlier told the jury he had been driving well below the speed limit and had not been distracted by chatting to his friends in the minibus.
He said: “The back of the minibus was very light and as I turned the corner the rear swung out as I turned.
“I really cannot be sure what happened. I did not expect it and it happened very quickly.”
Earlier, the court had heard how Catherine had been driving her Peugeot car along the A3124 near Dolton in Devon when the head-on collision happened. She died at the scene.
Opening the case, prosecutor Andrew McFarlane had claimed the accident happened because of a momentary error in driving in which Mr Carter clipped the kerb, over corrected, then lost control.
He said: “This is a tragic case where the life of an innocent young woman was taken as a result of the careless driving of the defendant.”
However, jurors cleared Mr Carter of the charge at the conclusion of the three-day trial.
Afterwards, Catherine’s sister, Sarah Hamer, said: “We did not want to go through this [the trial] but wanted to for Catherine. We feel the outcome is ridiculous but it is what it is.”
After the verdict Recorder Paul Derbyshire said: “This has been a difficult case.
“I understand members of Catherine’s family have been here throughout.
“As a parent myself, I cannot imagine what they have experienced in the last 12 months.”