Sunderland woman admits causing the death of two girls and injuring others in Blackhall crash
A driver has been warned to expect a jail term after admitting causing the death of two girls in a crash which left four others injured.
Mary Michelle Stokes appeared before Durham Crown Court today, Friday, May 14, where she entered guilty pleas to causing death by dangerous driving following the collision which claimed the life of three-year-old Kelsey Stokes and Shauna Stokes, 17.
It happened on the A1086 Coast Road between Blackhall Colliery and Horden at around 2.30pm on Wednesday, September 2, last year.
They were travelling in a Peugeot 206 when it was involved in a crash with a van.
Stokes also faces four further charges of causing serious injury by dangerous driving after four people were hurt.
During today’s hearing she entered guilty pleas to two of those counts, with an indication further admissions will come at a future date.
The court heard medical information is required to allow those two remaining matters to proceed, with a pre-sentence and a psychological reports to be prepared ahead of a hearing next month.
Stokes has been given an interim driving ban and bail until that date.
Judge James Adkin, the Honorary Recorder of Durham, told her: “You must be under no illusion, this is a custodial case, you are going to prison, it’s just a question of how long that sentence will be, which is to be determined on June 14.”
A total of seven people were taken to hospital following the collision.
It is understood the girls, who were from Derry in Northern Ireland, had been on their way to a birthday celebration.
In the aftermath of the tragedy, a large number of flowers and other items were left close to the scene in tribute.
On Monday, May 10, Senior Coroner Jeremy Chipperfield listed it for a further mention on Monday, July 5, at Redhills in Durham.
A joint funeral was held for the girls in Londonderry, where mourners wore T-shirts featuring their photographs and a message was flown overhead reading ‘2 Beautiful Angels Left 4 Heaven’