Harrowing moment reckless drink-driver crashes car killing her friend

Harrowing moment reckless drink-driver, 20, crashes Seat Leon killing her 17-year-old friend in 72mph smash – after telling pals at house party she was ‘100%, I’m f***ed’ before getting behind wheel of the car


Harrowing dashcam footage shows the shocking moment a drink-driver killed her 17-year-old friend in a 72mph crash – just after telling her pals at a house party she was ‘100 per cent’ too drunk to drive.

Phoebe Johnson was a passenger in a Seat Leon being driven by Melissa Keilloh when the car crashed on the A514 near Derby in October 2021 – just two weeks before her 18th birthday.

Keilloh, now 20, was jailed for three years and disqualified from driving for six-and-a-half years in January after admitting to causing death by careless driving while over the alcohol limit.

Footage shown at sentencing now released by police with the permission of Phoebe’s brave parents Paul and Nicky Johnson shows the moment Keilloh lost control on a bend after clipping the kerb at 72mph in a 60 zone. Phoebe was thrown from the car before Keilloh screamed ‘I’ve killed Phoebe’ after finding her mangled body by a hedge.

Separate footage reveals how Keilloh had admitted to her friends at a house party ‘100%, I’m f***ed’ before getting into the Seat Leon. The video has been released in a bid to deter drink-driving.

Phoebe Johnson (pictured) died while she was a passenger in a Seat Leon which crashed in Swadlincote, Derbyshire, on October 23, 2021

Keilloh can be heard in the video admitting ‘I’m f****d’ before getting behind the wheel

Keilloh was jailed for three years after admitting causing death by careless driving when over the prescribed limit at Derby Crown Court in January

Phoebe’s parents Nicola and Paul Johnson (pictured) have now bravely agreed for the video to be shared by police as a warning about the dangers of drink-driving

In the footage, Keilloh can be heard being asked ‘Do you feel like you are going to put our lives in danger?’ as they left the house party. Keilloh replies: ‘100 per cent. I’m f****d.’

READ MORE: Our teen daughter died in horror crash and the drunk driver went on holiday while we waited for justice 

After they set off, Keilloh can be seen dangerously overtaking cars along dark country lanes while listening to loud dance music.

The disturbing moment she lost control 15 minutes later is then shown capturing the girl’s screams and the screeching of the brakes as Keilloh’s crashes.

Mother Nicola said: ‘Life can be taken from you in just a heartbeat. When I did go round [to see her hospital] I just held her hand and I didn’t want to leave.

‘It just drains everything from you, everything is just an effort and you wonder how long I have to go through this pain for. It’s had such a massive impact not just on us and our families but friends and the wider community.

‘You don’t realise until you’re actually going through it what impact it has on everything.’

She added: ‘I’d say to parents never stopping fussing and to youngsters – please listen and please look after yourselves.’

Nicola also recalled the moment police officers came to their door and rushed the couple to Nottingham’s Queen’s Medical Centre.

Phoebe (pictured) – who was less than two weeks away from her 18th birthday – was thrown from the car and Keilloh was heard screaming ‘I’ve killed Phoebe’

Phoebe’s parents have bravely agreed for the dashcam footage to be released as a warning to others 

Family handout dated 19/10/2014 of Paul and Nicky Johnson with their daughter Phoebe 

She added: ‘It was about 1am, I heard the sirens. It was one of them where I thought, ‘Did I hear that or was I dreaming?’

READ MORE: ‘My hatred for you keeps me alive and we will never forgive you’, father tells drink-driver who was responsible for the death of his 17-year-old daughter

‘And then I saw the blue lights coming through the curtains, followed by hammering on the door. I got out of bed and looked out the window, there were torches flashing up at us.

‘They said to me ‘your daughter has been in an accident and she’s really poorly,’ and they got us there very quickly.

‘I knew she must’ve been poorly by how they had come to get us but I still didn’t imagine that would be the outcome.’

Her husband Paul added: ‘It was like a runaway train nobody could get off. But she should have said ‘I’m not getting in the car’.

‘The driver did say she was still drunk to drive, but she did it anyway. It was stupid, knowing she had been drinking to get in the car.

‘Just don’t get in a car, if the driver has been drinking. Even if they’ve had one.’

A Derbyshire Police spokesperson said: ‘We hope that their story will help us show just what the reality of reckless behaviour behind the wheel can lead to. It’s part of our Just a Second campaign – where we would urge you to take a second to make the decision not to drink and drive. ‘It just isn’t worth the risk.’

Keilloh can be seen dangerously overtaking cars along dark country lanes while listening to loud dance music

The disturbing moment Keilloh lost control is tcaptured as the girl’s scream and the brakes screech

Paul and Nicky Johnson’s 17-year-old daughter Phoebe (pictured) was killed when a car being driven by her friend, Melissa Keilloh, crashed on the A514 near Derby in October 2021

Her sentencing took place almost three months later than originally planned, and Mr and Mrs Johnson claimed they were never contacted by a court or victim support service about the case, a situation they described as a ‘shambles’.

Throughout the case, Mrs Johnson was able to see photos of Keilloh smiling, going on holiday and enjoying afternoon tea on social media, which only worsened her grief as she came to terms with her loss.

Mrs Johnson said: ‘Why didn’t we have better contact? There was no communication, other than our police liaison officer.

‘We have not had contact from anyone. It makes us feel forgotten, an afterthought and like Phoebe was forgotten.

‘I said at the beginning that I didn’t want this to be diluted down, for Phoebe to be forgotten, and that’s how we felt; that the seriousness of it had been diluted down, and that she had been forgotten, and that she didn’t matter, the case didn’t matter, none of it mattered.’

Delays to sentencing meant the couple had to spend a second Christmas with the verdict hanging over them, after Keilloh, of Hartshorne, first appeared in Crown Court on October 27.

At that hearing, the case was adjourned to December 8 to allow a back calculation of Keilloh’s alcohol level at the time of the crash to be sought, but a judge told the court that the hearing should not be postponed any further.

After hearing nothing from the court, the couple was told that the hearing had been postponed to January 12 by a local newspaper reporter.

The hearing was then pushed back without explanation for a third time, to Tuesday, and was changed from a plea and sentencing hearing to a plea hearing only.

This change meant the couple told other relatives who lived elsewhere – including Phoebe’s half-sisters – not to travel, and only when they were on the way to Derby were they informed by their police liaison officer that the sentencing would take place as well, which left Mrs Johnson feeling ‘numb’.

She said: ‘You need to mentally prepare yourself, and we had prepared ourselves for plea only – we expected to be there for half an hour and that was it.

‘We didn’t have our victim statements or anything, we felt that we weren’t important, that it was being done with no regard for us.

‘I was numb, but to be honest, I was not at all surprised as it has been a shambles from the off and it just continued.’

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