A lorry driver has been warned that he faces an inevitable jail sentence after he admitted killing a teenage girl by dangerous driving.
Standing in the dock of Belfast Crown Court in a black coat, blue shirt and stripped tie, Mark John Boyd (33) pleaded guilty to causing the death of Erin Eagleson (18) by driving dangerously on the New Line between Carrickfergus and Ballynure on July 5, 2009.
Boyd, from St Aubyn Street in Belfast, also pleaded guilty to a further charge of causing grievous bodily harm to Ms Eagleson’s boyfriend, Gary White, also by dangerous driving.
Ms Eagleson was killed after the car she was travelling in was in collision with the lorry, which had veered onto the wrong side of the road.
As Erin's mother cried silently at the back of the court, Judge Tom Burgess said it should be made “totally and utterly clear” that Mr White bore no responsibility for the fatal impact.
Adjourning passing sentence so that probation pre-sentence reports could be compiled, the judge released Boyd on bail but warned him: “Not only should I say that this does not tie the hands of the court on the eventual disposal, but I say further that a period of custody is inevitable — that has to be clearly understood.”
Erin Eagleson, who was killed just five minutes from her family home in Ballynure outside Carrickfergus was described as a “beautiful girl” and as having “emotional and spiritual intelligence which was far beyond her years”.
Around 1,000 mourners attended her funeral in July 2009 bringing Carrickfergus town to a standstill.
Her boyfriend Gary White (21), who sustained head injuries as a result of the crash ,read a prayer at the service.
After the funeral at St Nicholas’ Church she was laid to rest at Prospect Cemetery.
A popular pupil at Carrickfergus Grammar School, she was awaiting her A-Level results and had ambitions of becoming a solicitor or a journalist.
She was preparing to start at Queen’s University in Belfast — mourners had heard how she planned to study Politics, English or Law after returning from a summer holiday in Magaluf with friends.