Brake backs girls’ legacy

Jade Pickering and Tia Guye
Jade Pickering and Tia Guye

The families of two Chorley 16-year-olds who died in a car crash are being backed by a national car charity in lobbying the Government.

Jade Pickering and Tia Guye, who both lived on Eaves Lane, died when the Ford Focus they were travelling in smashed into a coach on the A6 Blackrod bypass in September, 2009.

The driver, 20-year-old Jordan Clayton, received a sentence of 150 hours’ community service after he pleaded guilty earlier this year to causing death by careless driving.

Their devastated families have launched a petition to change sentencing laws so anyone convicted of causing a death on the roads is automatically handed a prison sentence.

They have now been supported by road safety campaign charity Brake.

Jade’s mum Nicky, who is spearheading the campaign, said: “Defendants can appeal their sentences, but victims can’t. We have been absolutely overwhelmed with support from everyone, including Brake, who said they would do anything they could to help.”

They are hoping to gather 100,000 signatures supporting the move before hand-delivering it in London.

Nicky says the attention would be embarrassing for her daughter Jade, a former Parklands High School pupil, who was studying at Runshaw College at the time of her death.

She said: “She would be stamping her feet and saying, ‘Oh mum’, but I know she would be proud and overwhelmed, too. If all of the petitions we have handed out come back then that will make 20,000 signatures.

“I really didn’t think we would get this far at all.”

Celebrity mum Coleen Nolan also took to Twitter to support the campaign.

A spokesman for road charity Brake said: “It is really important when judges are handing out sentences for people who cause deaths on the road that they are giving sentences that are appropriately serious.

“In this case, two young women were killed.

“Obviously, their families are left to grieve for the rest of their lives.

“Justice is incredibly important for victims. This enables them to move on.”

Jordan Clayton was unanimously cleared by a jury of causing death by dangerous driving after a trial at Bolton Crown Court.

He was sentenced to causing death by careless driving, to which he admitted.