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Teen denies causing crash death

PUBLISHED: 14:16 07 September 2009 | UPDATED: 11:42 12 August 2010

A 17-YEAR-OLD girl killed a waiter after yanking the steering wheel of a car he was driving causing it to crash, a court heard today (September 7).

A 17-YEAR-OLD girl killed a waiter after 'yanking' the steering wheel of a car he was driving causing it to crash, a court heard today (September 7).

The teen, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was sitting on the lap of 20-year-old Richard Rutter in the passenger seat of a Mini Cooper being driven by Lee Waite, 21, from Bromley Common, the Old Bailey heard.

The girl, who was accompanied in court by her parents, denied one count of manslaughter.

Jurors heard how there were seven people - four girls and three boys, crammed into the car when it crashed in Southborough Lane, Bromley on February 10 last year.

Prosecuting Sarah Whitehouse said: "It was a bright clear dry night. There was no frost and no ice.

"The car suddenly swerved off the road and hit a tree on the right hand side of the car. Then it spun through a wall and ended up facing the way it had come.

"Lee Waite was still conscious at the time of the crash but he died soon after."

The group had been drinking in a pub and were on their way back to one of the girls' houses, it was said.

They decided to drive to a garage to get some cigarettes and possibly more alcohol, jurors heard.

On the way back, the car crashed while driving at a speed estimated to be between 50 and 70 miles per hour, they were told.

The court heard how the impact of the crash was so great that it caused the engine to fall out of the car.

One of the girls was so badly injured that she still has no memory of the crash.

In hospital after the incident, Mr Rutter and a female passenger told police that the defendant had caused the crash by pulling the steering wheel.

Ms Whitehouse added: "In these circumstances, [the girl] and Richard Rutter are correct in what they say that the crash was caused by [the defendant] yanking the wheel round to the left resulting in the fatal collision."

The trial continues.

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