Driver who turned his car into a ‘death trap’ is jailed for nine years for swerving into oncoming traffic and killing his girlfriend as he drove at 85mph on way back from a ‘romantic date’ Liam Pusey, 23, lost control while speeding at 85mph in Droxford, Hampshire His girlfriend Melissa Orsborn, 20, died following the crash on February 4, 2021 Pusey, who made dangerous modifications to his BMW, was jailed for nine years By Stewart Carr Published: 16:34 GMT, 17 March 2023 | Updated: 16:34 GMT, 17 March 2023 e-mail 54 shares 14 View comments A ‘frightening’ driver who modified his car to ‘drift’ was today jailed for nine years after the ‘death trap’ BMW swerved into oncoming traffic and killed his girlfriend. Liam Pusey, 23, was racing another car at speeds of up to 85mph in a 50mph zone on his way back from a ‘romantic date’ with his girlfriend Melissa Orsborn shortly before the accident on February 4, 2021. Pusey had carried out ‘dangerous modifications’ to his grey 3 series including removing the anti roll bar and welding the differential to ‘deliberately’ reduce the vehicle’s traction, so that it would drift or slide more on the road.
In the catastrophic crash in Droxford, Hampshire, Pusey lost control of the car and span into the path of Louisa Wray in her silver Volkswagen Golf who despite her best effort ‘could do nothing’. Tragically, despite being taken to hospital, 20-year-old Melissa died from her injuries. 20-year-old Melissa Orsborn died on February 4, 2021, when her boyfriend Liam Pusey crashed his modified car while speeding in Droxford, Hampshire Pusey was found guilty following a trial of causing death by dangerous driving, causing death by driving a vehicle while uninsured and causing serious injury by dangerous driving.
Today, at Portsmouth Crown Court, Hampshire, Pusey was jailed for nine years and condemned by the judge for ‘dicing with the lives’ of himself and his girlfriend. He also told him he was ‘completely responsible’ for the collision after losing control of the vehicle on the A32 near Droxford, Hants, on 4 February 2021. Matthew Farmer, prosecuting, said: ‘The defendant was driving a dangerously modified car which rendered it uninsured and prone to sliding.
‘He was, the prosecution say, driving frighteningly close to the car in front, which in the end ended with him losing control of the car and entering the carriageway and into the oncoming vehicle of Louisa Wray. ‘She slammed on her brakes to avoid hitting the car, but could not avoid it – there was nothing she could do. ‘ The court hears Ms Wray sustained a number of serious injuries including a broken wrist, broken right foot, and damage to her pelvis.
Miss Orsborn suffered horrific injuries in the crash when the modified BMW careered into oncoming traffic (Pictured: the wreckage of the vehicle by the roadside) ‘Tragically, of course the passenger in the car was killed by the injuries caused by that collision,’ Mr Farmer said. Addressing Pusey, Judge William Ashworth said: ‘This was clearly a deliberate decision by you to ignore the rules of the road. ‘You deliberately sabotaged its inbuilt safety features which are there to prevent a loss of control.
‘I have no doubt in my mind you removed the anti-roll bar – there is no doubt you did it. ‘ Referring to the other modification of welding the cars differential, he added: ‘The purpose of both was so you could drift the car. ‘ Of the night in question, he said: ‘You were driving at excessive speed, too close to the car in front.
‘ The court heard Pusey had been driving at 70mph on a 50mph single carriageway road through the, dark, wet, Hampshire countryside, before driving ‘competitively’ against a Skoda. ‘You were driving too fast in road conditions you yourself described as awful. ‘ With some water pooling on the road surface, the court heard a safe distance to be behind a vehicle whilst travelling at 70mph, would be 130m – but Pusey was just 24 metres behind.
‘The car was a death trap in normal conditions, but driving it as you were, which rear end was deliberately modified to lost traction was an obvious and unreasonable decision to even think about driving the vehicle, let alone the way that you did. ‘ The court heard that having made the modifications to the car without telling his insurance company, he was consequently uninsured for the crash. Referring to messages from Pusey about modifications, the judge continued: ‘This can’t be characterised as a momentary bad decision.
‘You were dicing with the lives of yourself and Melissa for some time. ‘ The judge said Pusey’s continued denial of responsibility for the accident was ‘an extraordinary conclusion’ to make based on the evidence. ‘You don’t feel the vehicle was in some way a culpable factor in what happened – but for the extraordinary way you damaged the vehicle’s control, you are completely responsible for this.
‘ Richard Orsborn, Melissa’s father, said in his victim personal statement that his daughter ‘had meant the world to me’ and the night of the crash had ‘changed his life forever’. Mr Osborn said he would ‘never forget her beautiful smile’. Mitigating, Miles Bennett said Pusey had ‘deep sorrow’ for the loss of Ms Orsborn who he was hoping to make his fiancé.
‘The biggest pain that he feels is the one that won’t leave him,’ he said. Pusey remained motionless as he was sentenced to nine years in jail and disqualified from driving five years after whenever he is released. Speaking afterwards, Hampshire Police Constable Lucy Hawkins, of the Roads Policing Serious Collision Investigation Unit, said: ‘Liam Pusey showed total disregard for the safety of his passenger and other road users by speeding in a dangerously unsafe vehicle.
‘His recklessness has taken the life of one woman and put another in hospital. ‘I hope the result we got today makes other drivers think twice about their driving and the state of their vehicles. ‘ Advertisement Share or comment on this article: Speeding driver who modified his car is jailed for nine years after killing his girlfriend in crash e-mail 54 shares Add comment Comments 14 Share what you think Newest Oldest Best rated Worst rated View all The comments below have been moderated in advance.
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