A MOTORIST ploughed into a teenager at more than 80mph before leaving him for dead in the road.

Tyrone Franklin was “highly impaired by alcohol” when he crashed his car into 16-year-old Billy Lardner outside Bournemouth Airport.

The impact threw Billy 20ft into the air and saw him obtain injuries which were non-survivable.

Billy’s brother witnessed the whole incident in what has been described as a “cruel twist” by a judge.

Franklin, 25, then climbed out the vehicle and ‘bolted off into the bushes’, prompting a huge police search in the area.

He was found in hiding at his girlfriend’s house in Poole the following day.

Dorset Echo: Billy LardnerBilly Lardner (Image: Dorset Police)

The defendant appeared at Bournemouth Crown Court on Friday, January 26, for sentencing.

He admitted charges of causing death by dangerous driving, failing to stop at the scene of an accident and using a motor vehicle without insurance.

Prosecuting, Russell Pyne said Billy had been at work at The Navigator pub in Bournemouth Airport on June 30 last year.

He left work at around 9.30pm that evening, having arranged for his brother Drew to collect him.

The teen left the airport on foot before spotting his brother’s car at the traffic light junction outside the airport, in Parley Lane.

Billy then started to cross the road to get to his brother, before being struck down by the defendant’s car, which was coming from the direction of Chapel Gate.

The car was likely to have been travelling between 80mph and 85mph at the time of impact, the court heard. 

Paramedics arrived five minutes after the crash, but Billy was pronounced dead at the scene.

Franklin was seen fleeing his vehicle, leaving Billy in the road, as well as an unconscious passenger in the front seat of his car. 

A police dog was used to try and locate the defendant, although initial searches were unsuccessful.

Later enquires revealed that Franklin had discarded the ‘distinctive high vis’ he had been wearing and had called for a taxi, although never got into it.

He was arrested the next day. 

Mr Pyne told the court Franklin had been in a pub drinking beer and whiskey from around 3.30pm on the day of the incident.

He added that the Honda Civic driven by Franklin belonged to a friend of a work colleague. 

The defendant had neither permission or insurance to drive it.

Mitigating, Robert Griffiths said Franklin showed “clear remorse” over the incident and “would turn the clock back if he could”.

Mr Griffiths told the court: "[Franklin] maintains that he didn't run away because he was over the limit, but that he ran away because he panicked and didn't know what to do.”

The court also heard how Franklin had one ‘minor’ previous conviction which was not relevant to the case.

Speaking in court, Billy’s father Andrew Lardner said: “The gap that Billy leaves behind is enormous. It will never be filled. He really was one of a kind.

"He will truly never be forgotten.”

Billy’s brother Drew, who witnessed the crash, said: "I've lost my brother, my best friend, and all together, I've lost billy.

"I also have to live with what I saw on June 30, 2023.

"I'm absolutely mentally scared. I have flashbacks of his body flying through the air from when you smashed into him.

"You have taken away Billy's life and his chance to experience the world."

Summarising the case, Judge Susan Evans KC said: "It is an utter tragedy that Billy, a much loved son, brother and friend, has lost his life.

"He had his whole life ahead of him.

"It is tragic that his life was so cruelly cut short when he was just 16 years of age.

"The devastation that you have caused to his family and friends is beyond words.

"It's all the more shocking that in a cruel test, Drew, Billy's brother, witnessed that collision.

"Unsurprisingly he will never get over what he witnessed."

Judge Evans added she was “quite satisfied” that Franklin was “significantly impaired by alcohol” at the time of the incident. 

Franklin, of Newfoundland Drive in Poole, was sentenced to 11 years in prison.

He was also disqualified from driving for a period of ten years to begin following his release from prison.