A terrified teenage girl predicted her own death on Facebook just minutes before she lost her life at the hands of a drunken driver, a court heard today. Kayleigh Lawrie, 14, pleaded to be allowed to get out of the car being driven by her father’s friend because she was so scared by his ‘Formula One’ style driving. Kayleigh, who had already posted a message on Facebook saying ‘I think I’m going to die’, was told by her father Scott Lawrie not to be so stupid.
Moments later the driver Steven Hayter – who was twice over the drink-drive limit – lost control of his Renault Clio on a country road near Kayleigh’s home in Willoughby, Lincolnshire. He was attempting to retrieve a cigarette he had dropped in the foot well. The car skewed across the road into a ditch and then flew 60ft through the air before crashing down. Kayleigh, who was on the back seat, died instantly. A 13-year-old boy in the car suffered a fractured skull and facial injuries. Lincoln Crown Court was told that Hayter had been on a seven-hour drinking session the previous night and then after a few hours sleep drank wine before setting out on his journey to visit a bank in the resort of Skegness.
‘The only explanation for what happened must be drink. Your alcohol level must have been extremely high indeed. I am not convinced about the necessity for the journey at all. ‘Chillingly Kayleigh realised just how bad your driving was and before you left the petrol station had already sent a Facebook message which foretold of the tragedy to come.’ David Eager, defending, said Hayter had been left full of remorse. ‘He accepts he was solely responsible for Kayleigh’s death. That will lie heavily on his conscience for the rest of his life.’ Kayleigh’s mother Charlotte Buxton, in a tribute to her daughter, said ‘Kayleigh was a bright, happy, bubbly and loving 14-year-old, who lived life to the full. She loved animals, which included her rag doll cat, Sapphire, and her dog, Luna. ‘Kayleigh was strong-willed and knew what she wanted out of life. Kayleigh loved fashion and wasn’t afraid to experiment with her looks, although it often got her into trouble with school. She was good at French and loved cooking, especially cup cakes. ‘Kayleigh will be missed and loved always by all who knew her.’