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teenager pleads guilty to killing pals by dangerous driving near dumfries
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Teenager pleads guilty to killing pals by dangerous driving near Dumfries

A learner driver has admitted killing three of his friends in a horror crash. Jake Loy, 19, was driving his Honda Civic when he lost control and ploughed into another car. Tyler Johnston, Ian Cannon, Finlay Johns – all aged 16 and passengers in the motor – never survived the smash on the A711 near Cargenbridge at Dumfries on March 16 2022. A judge heard how Ian had posted a message in a group chat before the crash that he was “scared” in the vehicle and that Loy was a “terrible driver”. Loy – who only held a provisional licence at the time – yesterday appeared at the High Court in Glasgow. The first offender pleaded guilty to a charge of causing the death of the three boys by dangerous driving. Loy, of Moffat, had his bail continued by Lord Harrower pending sentencing in July. The teenager had initially been in his car with Ian and Finlay before travelling to Dumfries to pick up Tyler. Stephen Jackson meantime was in the area around midnight driving back from a poker night with friends in his Honda CR-V. He was on the A711 at a slight bend when he recalled a black car suddenly “coming towards him side on”. Stephen desperately tried to avoid being hit, but Loy’s Honda went “straight into the front”. Prosecutor Alex Prentice KC told how it was described as an “almighty impact”. He added: “The Crown’s position is that the driver ‘s inexperience and excessive speed were significant factors in the loss of control of the vehicle.” Such was the force of the collision, Loy’s Honda split in two. One experienced crash investigator said he had “never seen damage like that to a car”. The actual speed Loy was driving at is not known. An off-duty police officer initially stopped at the scene to help before emergency crews arrived. The three boys had already passed away as a result of their injuries. Mr Prentice told how, hours after the crash, a boy in the same Snapchat group as the teenagers saw a message Ian Cannon had written before the tragedy. The advocate depute said: “He was saying that he was scared because Jake Loy was swerving all over the place, that he was a terrible driver and he was flooring it. It is not possible to pinpoint the precise point in the journey the message was sent.” The court heard Stephen Jackson was also badly hurt. He suffered a fractured kneecap and hand as well as bruising. He is scarred for life and remains affected by what happened including struggling to play with his child and sports he took part in. Stephen may end up getting arthritis in his knee. He has also received psychological treatment. The charge to which Loy pleaded guilty also stated he seriously injured the other driver and two of his passengers. Loy also needed hospital treatment after the crash. In June 2022, he attended a police station with his lawyer and claimed he “did not know” who the driver was at the time of the crash. Emotional family and friends of the three victims packed the courtroom. Mr Prentice told how all three victims had attended Moffat Academy. Finlay was studying for his highers, Tyler had gone on to college in Dumfries while Ian had stayed in Glasgow after leaving school, but had returned to live with his mum and sister. Finlay and Ian were both keen footballers. Donald Findlay KC, defending, later told the hearing that Loy had “no recollection” of the crash. He added: “That being so, the precise cause of the loss of control cannot be determined. “Whether it was speed, a distraction in the vehicle or any external distraction – an animal or whatever – no explanation can be forthcoming.” Sentencing was adjourned for reports.

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