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Victim of Caterham car crash: 'I'm facing a life sentence, he'll be out in a year'

By Caterham Mirror  |  Posted: February 19, 2013

By Brian Haran brian.haran@essnmedia.co.uk

  • Tiffany Garcia lost four teeth and suffered a broken nose, a gash over her right eye, and bruising to her legs and fingers in the crash at Westway CRDC20130212B-001_C Photo by David Cook

  • Tiffany's injuries following the crash in 2011. She also lost her senses of taste and smell

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A CAR accident victim has told of the "life sentence" she faces – while the driver who almost killed her is set to be a free man within a year.

Tiffany Garcia had been walking to a Hallowe'en party with friends when an out-of-control vehicle careered into her in Westway, Caterham.

The teenager, then 17, suffered extensive injuries.

She lost four teeth and suffered a broken nose, a gash over her right eye, and bruising to her legs and fingers.

The driver, Timothy Killick, 40, of Vernon Drive, Caterham, has now been jailed for 21 months after a Guildford Crown Court jury found him guilty of dangerous driving.

A crash investigation report estimated the car's speed was between 52 and 60 miles per hour when it hit her, before it carried on and smashed into a shop front.

The speed limit on Westway is 30 mph.

Father-of-one Killick denied the charge of dangerous driving until the day the trial began, when he changed his plea.

He was banned from driving for six years and will face a driving re-test when the ban expires.

Killick had been able to walk free from the wreckage unhurt. But for Tiffany, of Croydon Road, the effects of the fateful evening of October 31, 2011, are likely to be permanent.

A former Warlingham School pupil, she is on anti-depressant tablets, has lost her sense of smell and taste, and is too nervous to venture out much further than the end of her road.

She told the Mirror: "I'm glad the court case is finally over, but the effects of the crash on me just seem never-ending.

"I've already had two nose operations and will need another one.

"I face having a bone graft from my hip to repair my damaged jaw. I will also need dental implants because my front teeth are just temporary."

She added that the crash had wrecked her hopes of a career as a beautician.

Recalling the accident, she said: "I remember hearing a skidding noise and looking round to see a car coming toward me.

"I just froze.

"At one point in hospital when they were testing me for head injuries, I thought I wouldn't survive."

Tiffany's mother Stephanie heard the crash from her home, 100 yards away in Coulsdon Road.

She said: "I remember rushing out and seeing Tiffany's face covered in blood.

"Killick should have got a higher jail sentence.

"At no point during the hearing did he say sorry for what he did to my daughter.

"I expect he'll be out of prison in about ten months, while Tiffany bears the permanent scars of what happened."

A staff member at Caterham Clearance Centre said: "The girl was very lucky not to have died.

"She would have suffered even worse injuries if she had been shunted into the wall."

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