Parents pay tribute to Lucy Duggan as killer driver Martin Li jailed

The parents of 18-year-old Lucy Duggan have paid tribute to her after the boy racer who killed her was jailed for eight years

Lucy Duggan
Lucy Duggan

Grieving parents today paid tribute to their “wonderful daughter” after the boy racer who killed her was locked up.

Lucy Duggan and her friend were screaming at Martin Li to slow down moments before he lost control of his powerful hatchback on a blind bend.

A court heard Li had reached estimated speeds of up to 130mph on the 60mph country road as he showed off while giving Lucy and her friend a lift.

The 18-year-old back seat passenger died when Li smashed head-on into an oncoming car and the impact left four other people seriously injured.

Now Li, who only managed to afford the insurance on the Ford Focus ST by pretending he was 20 years older than he was, has been jailed for eight years on his 22nd birthday.

After the case Lucy’s parents, Ralph and Barbara, and her brother Jack, released a statement paying tribute to the girl with the “constant smile”.

They said: “The devastating accident that took our wonderful daughter, from us has rocked our world and shattered so many precious dreams.

“Lucy loved life and lived it to the full, her constant smile brought sunshine into the lives of all she met.”

Mechanic Li had arranged to give Lucy and her friend, Lauren Jewitt, a lift to Corbridge in August. But as they headed along a country road Li took a series of bends at high speed and his passengers said he was “really going for it”.

He overtook two cars in one manoeuvre, telling his passengers “This is my favourite road.”

As he approached a blind bend on the A695, at The Devil’s Bridge, Dilston, near Hexham, his passengers said Li was doing up to 130mph.

As he took the left hand bend over the bridge, Li tried to take a racing line through it but skidded and drifted into the opposite carriageway, colliding head-on with Sheila Miller’s Suzuki.

Lucy, from Wall, Northumberland suffered significant internal injuries, lost consciousness at the scene and nothing could be done to save her.

Lauren, also 18, suffered three fractured vertebrae, needed five hours of surgery, had to have metal rods and screws in her back, became anaemic after surgery, needed a blood tranfusion and is still facing further operations on her legs.

Li’s friend, front seat passenger Alex Crowe, suffered fractures to his back, wrist and ankle. The other driver, Mrs Miller, suffered three fractures, part of her intestine had to be removed and she faces further surgery.Her daughter, Sarah, was also injured, although less seriously than the others.

The only person to walk away unscathed was Li, who was arrested at the scene. Li, of Ash Row, Hexham, pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving and four counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving. He also admitted making a false statement to obtain insurance.

His barrister handed in references speaking of Li in “glowing terms” and said the accident was a tragedy all round.

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