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DATE News (chronologically)
03/27/09
automotive
£500 fine for Ferrari driver in death crash
A mechanic who killed a woman while test-driving a 188mph Ferrari has escaped with a £500 fine.

William Lings, 26, who has a previous conviction for drink-driving and three for speeding, mounted a curb and hit Jennifer England after losing control of the £150,000 Ferrari 456GT.

Ms England, 52, who was a full-time career for her disabled sister, died after being thrown into the air by the collision in Acton in January last year.

Lings was cleared of causing death by dangerous driving after a trial in which the jury was not told of his previous offences.

He had just fitted a new airbag to the V12-engine Ferrari, which can do 0-60mph in five seconds, and was taking it for a test drive, Isleworth crown court heard. He was used to driving high-powered vehicles while working for HR Owen Sports, but spun the car across both lanes of a wet road soon after turning out of the garage.

One pedestrian dived out of the way before the car hit Ms England and crashed into the railings of a cemetery in Chase Road. The Ferrari then careered back across both lanes and hit a phone mast before coming to a stop in the middle of the road.

Lings, who lives in Watford, claimed he was driving no faster than 20mph when the car "fish-tailed". He said he tried hard to regain control and did not realize he had hit anyone.

The mechanic, who admitted careless driving, was fined £500 and banned from driving for eight months.

Judge Richard McGregor-Johnson told him he would have been facing jail if the death had happened after a recent change in the law. He said: "You have a record for ignoring traffic rules and that is part of the background which I have to take into account.

"Had this accident happened a year later, you would have been facing the very serious consequences of causing death by careless driving." ThisisLondon.co.uk

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