Dangerous driver jailed for fatal A21 collision at Mountfield
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The family of a young woman who was killed in a fatal collision by a dangerous driver have warned other motorists of the devastating consequences of excessive speeding and drink or drug-driving.
Emergency services were called to the A21 at Mountfield shortly after 6pm on April 25, 2020 following a collision involving a Vauxhall Adam driven by Myles Woollett, aged 22.
He was seen driving recklessly at high speeds before attempting to overtake a vehicle. He lost control and collided with a stationary vehicle driven by Claudia-Rose Moor, aged 23.
She suffered life-threatening injuries in the crash, and sadly died from her injuries two days later at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton on April 27.
At Lewes Crown Court on February 21 Woollett admitted causing death by dangerous driving and causing serious injuries by dangerous driving to a passenger in his own vehicle, and was jailed for six years.
He was disqualified from driving for seven years and was told he would need to take an extended retest before he would be allowed to obtain his licence.
Following the case, Claudia-Rose’s family said: “Words do not justify the pain we feel, the impact of grief has been catastrophic on us as a family.
“We have been robbed of our gorgeous girl and we are all burdened by the constant numbness of grief. It is impossible that our lives can ever be the same again.”
The family said Claudia-Rose, from St Leonards, was a team leader at the Co-operative and had previously studied art and drama at the William Parker Sixth Form in Hastings.
Her mother Nicola Moor, 47, said: “Claudia’s charismatic personality made her such a great friend to everyone, she was incredibly funny and always brought laughter and noise, she never saw wrong in others and was always the first to offer aid to others less fortunate than herself.
“Claudia was full of compassion and generosity, her heart brimming full of love for her family and her so many friends.
“As Claudia’s mother, I am so incredibly proud of her morals and what she stood for, so full of kindness and support of others, she was incredibly beautiful both inside and out, a strong and fiercely independent young woman who would give her love to others so freely.
“It has been the greatest honour to be mummy to Claudia, I will continue to miss my brilliant best friend every moment of every day for ever more.”
At Lewes Crown Court it was revealed that Woollett, of Butchers Lane, Mereworth, near Maidstone, had wanted to meet his cousin on the day and go for a drive.
Less than an hour before the fatal crash staff at a Waitrose store in Paddock Wood refused him entry because they believed he had consumed alcohol or drugs.
Video footage taken from his cousin’s mobile phone from inside the car showed Woollett’s dangerous driving at excess speed.
Witnesses saw him attempting dangerous manoeuvres as he approached the A21 at Mountfield near Robertsbridge, including near misses with other vehicles.
In the moments before the crash, he reached speeds of up to 98mph and then attempted to overtake a Nissan Almera, but lost control as he tried to avoid a head-on collision with an oncoming Honda Jazz.
It caused him to veer across the road, colliding with Claudia-Rose’s Ford Ka which was stationary in a layby.
Woollett then left the scene by climbing over a fence and running across fields, leaving Claudia-Rose and his passenger trapped with serious injuries in their vehicles.
He was arrested the next day at the address of a relative 20 miles away in Yalding, Kent.
Detective Inspector Sue Neilson from the Serious Collision Investigation Unit said: “The shocking video footage shows Woollett driving erratically on the road, hitting grass verges and narrowly avoiding collisions with other motorists.
“That should have been warning enough that he was not safe behind the wheel of his vehicle, but tragically he continued on his journey and went on to cause the fatal collision.
"It is clear he was not driving with reasonable care for himself or for other road users, reaching high speeds and driving dangerously.
“This case demonstrates the devastating consequences of a young motorist driving at speed.
“The combination of excess speed and inconsiderate driving are two of the main factors for why people are killed and seriously injured on our roads.
“We welcome the sentence passed by the judge as a warning to other motorists, and to take a dangerous driver off our roads.”
Claudia-Rose’s family have supported Sussex Police’s message to motorists, and said: “We wish to voice our support of Sussex Police’s campaign in raising awareness of dangerous driving and to tell all drivers who have ever driven too fast or under the influence of drink or drugs to stop.
“The driver of the vehicle which killed Claudia drove in a reckless and fatal manner.
“He was void of all care or consideration for members of the public and other road users. The safety of others was comprehensively ignored and as a result that car became a lethal weapon in his hands.
“This is an unpardonable crime; the outcome of the sentence today will never be enough.
“Claudia had just turned 23. Her young life was stolen from her. She had every right to be safe and every right to live her life, yet her rights were critically destroyed by the dangerous driver of the vehicle that killed her.
“So many lives have been impacted by what happened that day, his actions are unforgivable.
“Do you know someone who drives at high speed using roads recklessly? If you do, report them.
“All drivers should take responsibility for their actions. Do not drive dangerously, recklessly or under the influence of drink or drugs, as the consequences can be catastrophic.
“Slow down before you or someone else becomes a victim.”
You can report antisocial, careless or dangerous driving online via Operation Crackdown, on our website here, or call 101. In an emergency dial 999.