Driver, 21, killed girl, 14, racing at 93mph when trying to impress female passenger

·Freelance Writer
·3 min read
Brandon Turton drove at speeds of up to 93mph in residential streets. (Reach)
Brandon Turton drove at speeds of up to 93mph in residential streets. (Reach)

A street racer who killed a schoolgirl while driving at speeds of 93mph in an attempt to impress a female passenger has been jailed.

Brandon Turton, 21, sped down residential streets in St Helens, Merseyside, in convoy with another car when he crashed into Courtney Ellis, 14.

Courtney, from Haydock, died instantly after being hit by the Renault Megane on Blackbrook Road shortly after 9.45pm on 19 September, 2020.

Turton had been driving around the area "just for something to do" and met up with a silver Vauxhall Astra being driven by Oliver McIntosh in the car park of Tesco in Haydock.

In the 15 minutes before the incident, the two cars "set off in convoy" and completed a high speed circuit of nearby roads while "competing with each other”, Liverpool Crown Court heard.

Both drivers narrowly avoided smashing into oncoming traffic during their high-speed chase, while Turton's friends inside the car "repeatedly told him to slow down", with one of them later describing his driving as "awful".

Another stated that they were being "thrown around the car" as Turton took corners and roundabouts at speed and overtook other vehicles.

Brandon Turton crashed into Courtney Ellis on Blackbrook Road in St Helens, Merseyside. (Google)
Brandon Turton crashed into Courtney Ellis on Blackbrook Road in St Helens, Merseyside. (Google)

This witness described how he had been flirting with a woman in the Renault whom Turton had also been interested in romantically – however, she had not reciprocated these feelings and it was "apparent he was angered or jealous”.

Ben Jones, prosecuting, described how Turton had been "showing off or driving in anger", having made unsuccessful attempts to woo a female passenger before the crash.

Courtney had spent the afternoon in a nearby park with her now 18-year-old sister Morgan and a friend.

While the teenager had been drinking having been upset at “falling out with a boy”, she was described as "just being silly" or "giddy".

After starting their journey home, Courtney ran across the road and was hit by Turton’s car and "thrown through the air" before landing in the carriageway.

Turton "swerved at the last second" but was travelling at speeds of at least 73mph, and possibly up to 93mph, on the 30mph road.

Brandon Turton was jailed for for six years and nine months at Liverpool Crown Court. (Christopher Furlong/Getty)
Brandon Turton was jailed for for six years and nine months at Liverpool Crown Court. (Christopher Furlong/Getty)

Courtney was described as having "little chance to assess her own safety in crossing”, while the forensic investigation found the cause of the accident being Turton’s speed.

By chance, Courtney's mum happened across the scene on her way home from work and continued onwards – only realising later that her daughter had been involved in the accident.

Turton, who has no previous convictions, stopped after the crash and tested negative for drink and drugs.

A judge has now jailed Turton, of Borron Road in Newton-le-Willows, for six years and nine months after he admitted causing death by dangerous driving.

Sentencing, judge David Potter told Turton: "But for your dangerous driving, Courtney would have successfully reached the side of the road – or, alternatively, at the speed you should have been driving the collision would have resulted in far less serious consequences.”

Turton, who will serve half of his sentence before being released on licence, was also banned from driving for seven years and four months and must pass an extended retest before being allowed back on the road.