A driver has been jailed for causing the death of a friend after he crashed while trying to reach 100mph for a video to be posted on social media channel Snapchat. As Ricafort Gamboa sped along country roads near Aberystwyth in West Wales last July, friends inside the car filmed him on their mobile phones. Gamboa's friends could be heard encouraging him to drive faster on mobile phones recovered from the crashed car.
As he sped up, Gamboa he began taking corners on the wrong side of the road. But the 25-year-old from Bolton, Lancashire, lost control as raced downhill into a series of corners and bends.
On the video footage Gamboa was heard to say “Oh shit!” as he lost control. His Citroen C3 spun, mounted a bank, swerved across the road and ran into a cottage by the side of the A487. A 16in (41cm) thick stone wall was demolished by the car, which had been doing more than 90mph.
The impact killed Ernest Pideli, 18, and injuring two others in the car. Pideli had been a talented footballer and had an ambition of returning to his native Philippines and play for the national team.
Gamboa admitted causing death and serious injury by dangerous driving at Swansea Crown Court was told. He was sentenced to a four-year prison term. Gamboa, a Domino pizza restaurant shift manager, was also banned from driving for five years after his eventual release from prison.
Prosecuting Council Paul Hobson, told the court the group had been returning to Manchester after a holiday at a caravan site in Fishguard, Pembrokeshire.
Gamboa, a Filipino with British status, was recorded saying: “I am going fast. I will go faster.” Gamboa's barrister, Charles Row, said at one point police had considered charging his friends for their encouragement of him to drive faster just so they could film him and the speedometer.
Following the accident, Gamboa told police: “I take full responsibility for what happened. My stupid decision to drive so fast was the cause of the collision. I deserve to be punished. I am deeply sorry for what happened.”
Row said Gamboa had been so remorseful that he genuinely wished he had died and not his friend.
Judge Keith Thomas told Gamboa that he had used the road as a racetrack. “You drove at breakneck speed saying you were trying to reach one hundred miles an hour,” the judge said. “And you ignored signs telling you to slow down and that there were bends ahead. Your friend was only 18 and had his whole life in front of him. You have caused incalculable loss to his family.”
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