Speeding motorist who killed girl, 8, while she was crossing road with her grandmother is jailed

·3 min read

A speeding motorist who ran over and killed an eight-year-old girl while she was crossing the street with her grandmother has been jailed.

Jon-Paul Caruana, 25, struck Emily Connor with his blue Vauxhall Corsa in Salford on 10 November 2018 while driving at speeds of up to 50mph in a 30mph zone because he was late for work, the court heard.

He collided with Emily on Monton Road while she and her grandmother were crossing to get a bus to the Trafford Centre, where they were planning to go shopping for the day.

Caruana, from Worsley, in Salford, was sentenced on Friday at Manchester Crown Court to three years and four months in prison and has been disqualified from driving for four years and eight months after pleading guilty to causing death by dangerous driving.

Jon-Paul Caruana, 25, has been jailed (Picture: Police)
Jon-Paul Caruana, 25, has been jailed (Picture: Police)

The court heard Caruana was driving to work at Salford Quays with his partner and their four-month-old child when the crash happened.

Caruana was seen on CCTV overtaking a car at excessive speed on Folly Lane – just over a mile away from Monton Road.

Despite the road appearing initially clear, Caruana was seen seconds later driving down the road at speeds of 50mph and sounding his car horn before Emily broke free of her grandmother’s hand in an attempt to get to safety.

She was unable to avoid the car and, despite the best efforts of emergency services, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Caruana was arrested at the location on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving.

Emily Connor, 8, was killed while crossing the road with her grandma (Picture: Police)
Emily Connor, 8, was killed while crossing the road with her grandma (Picture: Police)

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Due to detailed forensic collision work as well as CCTV and phone analysis, the investigating team were able to uncover the extent of Caruana’s dangerous driving that day.

This included dash cam and CCTV footage of him travelling at speed in the moments preceding the collision as well as a Whatsapp message sent from Caruana’s partner to the work colleague referring to how he was “breaking speed barriers” in an attempt to pick him up on time.

Police Sergeant Lee Westhead, of GMP’s Serious Collision Investigation Unit, said: “I hope that Emily’s family take some comfort from today’s sentencing and I send them my sincere condolences and best wishes for the future as they continue to rebuild their lives.

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Emily’s family were present at the sentencing hearing and released the following statement: “The family and friends of our daughter, Emily, would like to take this opportunity to firstly thank everyone who came forward in assisting the police with their investigation.

“We would like to especially thank those who stayed with Emily at the scene. It gave us great comfort knowing you were with her.

“Emily’s brothers and ourselves have somehow got to try to move forward, without our beautiful girl. We hope to live in a way Emily would have wanted us to - with grace and compassion.”

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