Police stopped driver minutes before Gosport crash that killed two teenagers

Samuel Etherington
Samuel Etherington

Inquest hears man, 27, wrecked Gosport shop after taking drugs and becoming paranoid

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A DRIVER was pulled over by police just 50 minutes before he went on to kill two teenage girls.

Samuel Etherington was stopped at 3.25am after uniform officers saw a broken rear light on his Honda Civic.

At 4.15am the 21-year-old crashed into friends Jasmine Allsop, 14, and Olivia Lewry, 16, as they stood in Ann’s Hill Road in Gosport.

Tests revealed he had taken horse tranquilliser ketamine and mephedrone in the 24 hours before the crash.

There is no evidence his drug consumption impaired his driving, a court heard.

Police have said they carried out stop-check procedures correctly and that Etherington had been driving normally prior to pulling him over.

But Jasmine’s mother Rose, 38, of Gosport, says her daughter would still be alive had police tested Etherington for drug use.

She said: ‘If they’d have pulled him over the accident wouldn’t have happened in the first place.

‘They should have done some kind of test on him.

‘They must have known he was on drugs. That’s what makes me angry – they don’t know anything about it.’

Etherington, of Stoners Close, Gosport, later admitted two counts of death by dangerous driving and was given a nine-year prison sentence.

Rose’s son Reece, 16, created drug-driving awareness posters after his sister died.

He said: ‘They should’ve drug checked him – it’s just stupid. I’m just getting it out there, getting people aware not to do drugs and go out and drive. It’s just as bad as drinking.’

As reported, Etherington’s appeal against his prison sentence was dismissed in the Court of Appeal last week.

It comes after he pleaded guilty to death by dangerous driving at Winchester Crown Court in February. He was speeding at 65mph – more than twice the 30mph limit – when his modified car hit Jasmine and Olivia.

Jasmine lived yards away from where the crash happened near the junction of Ann’s Hill Road and Brougham Street at 4.15am on November 3 last year.

She died at the scene. Olivia was taken to hospital where she later died.

The pair had been at a party at Jasmine’s home.

Hampshire police stopped Etherington on Brewers Lane in Elson at 3.25am.

A police spokesman said: ‘The driver, Samuel Etherington, was reported for the defective rear light and he was seen to be behaving normally.

‘No inappropriate driving was observed either prior to or following this stop check by these officers.

‘The driver was observed as behaving normally at this point and as such no roadside test for intoxication was required.’

Officers followed proper stop-check procedure

IF police spot a defective rear light on a car, officers issue the driver with a notice.

Hampshire police said the vehicle defect notification scheme notice gives the person 14 days to sort out the fault and get it approved by an MOT service centre. But if that is not done, then a penalty notice can be issued or points given.

Etherington was given this notice and ordered to produce the paper part of his driving licence within seven days.