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Last Updated: Tuesday, 19 December 2006, 18:32 GMT
Motorist jailed over fatal crash
Eluned Cleverley
Eluned Cleverley was walking home from a party when she was killed
A van driver who killed a student by shunting a parked car into her has been jailed for six years.

Lucas Sonta, 24, was nearly two-and-a-half times over the drink drive limit when his van hit a car in Seacombe, Merseyside, in August.

The car was shunted into 18-year-old Eluned Cleverley as she walked home.

Sonta, a Polish carpenter, admitted causing death by dangerous driving without due care, while under the influence of alcohol.

Miss Cleverley was walking home from a friend's birthday party when the accident happened, Liverpool Crown Court heard.

She died at the scene with multiple injuries. Her friend, Tobias Eaton, broke his foot.

'Shining star'

The court heard that Sonta has a previous conviction for drink-driving in his native Poland from July last year.

On 5 August, after a night's drinking, he took a friend's van without permission and drove to buy more alcohol in the early hours.

He was travelling at 50mph along Seacombe Road when he lost control on a bend and smashed into the parked Ford Puma, which travelled 16.7 metres (55ft) before striking Miss Cleverley and her friend.

Sonta wrote a letter to court expressing sorrow for his actions.

Judge Henry Globe QC, the Recorder of Liverpool, said he hoped the case would be "a timely reminder as we approach the Christmas period to anyone considering driving while over the limit".

In a statement, Miss Cleverley's parents, Ann and Edward, said their daughter was "a shining star".

Man remanded over student death
07 Aug 06 |  Merseyside

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