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Man jailed for killing woman after driving wrong way on A13 in Dagenham

Grace Payne died on the A13 in Dagenham last year (credit: Met Police)

A man who killed a 21-year-old woman when he drove the wrong way along the A13 in Dagenham has been jailed for 14 years.

Ashley Loveday, 39,of Avondale Road was sentenced at the Old Bailey on Thursday, 9 March.

Loveday previously pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving, causing serious injury by dangerous driving and aggravated vehicle taking at a hearing at the same court on Wednesday, 25 January.

Grace Payne from Upminster was the passenger in a black Toyota Prius, when a van travelling the wrong direction of the Essex-bound carriageway, collided with the vehicle at around 2.35am on Friday, 25 November 2022.

She died at the scene.

The driver of the Prius suffered life-changing injuries.

The van Loveday was driving was stolen and on false plates which resulted in an ANPR activation. He then failed to stop when Essex Police officers signalled for him to do so and travelled at an average of 71mph against oncoming traffic. The Met Police say Essex officers followed the vehicle using the correct side of the road.

Loveday continued driving for one and a half miles before he collided.

Ashley Loveday was jailed for 14 years (credit: Met Police)

Following the collision, Loveday was also injured so was taken to hospital, however the injuries he’s sustained were not serious and he was discharged around a month after.

He was then charged by detectives from the Met’s Serious Collision Investigation Unit and remanded in custody.

In a statement released after the collision, Grace’s parents said: “Grace’s death has left us, along with the rest of her family and friends, devastated. We are struggling to come to terms with the fact that our daughter will never be coming home.

“How can we describe Grace? She made us proud in so many ways. She was caring, compassionate, bright, funny, bubbly – her friends always said that she had the ability to brighten up their day.

“When she walked out of a room, she left everyone feeling happier than when she had walked in. She always wanted to help, always wanted to make people happy.

“She loved children, and although happily working in HR, she said her long-term goal was to retrain when she reached 30 and become a primary school teacher. When she helped her Dad and brother, Jack, coach the juniors at Brentwood Cricket Club, she was usually entrusted with the youngest age groups, supplying cuddles whenever necessary.

“Grace graduated from the University of Kent this year with a degree in history and philosophy. She spent much of the summer travelling around Europe with university friends – trips to Italy, Greece, Sicily, Barcelona and Amsterdam.

“There were family holidays to Devon and Wales. She passed her driving test, celebrated her 21st birthday and started work with an architects firm in London which she instantly loved. It had been a very happy, exciting, busy year. She was a 21-year-old starting to live life to the full after the confinements of Covid.

“If Grace was out with a group of friends, it was always said she was the one looking after everyone else, making sure they would get home safely. Last week, she joined work colleagues on their regular Thursday night out. Tragically, she never made it home.”

The Independent Office for Police Conduct is carrying out a separate investigation into the circumstances leading up to the collision including the involvement of Essex Police officers prior to the crash.

For more on this story, and the latest on our other local and national news, listen to Time 107.5FM

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