Ryan Langer jailed for deadly crash that killed Tamika Black-Atkins on Shannon Vale Road near Glen Innes

Tributes: The roadside memorial for Tamika Black-Atkins who died from her injuries after the deadly crash in August last year. Photo: Steve Evans
Tributes: The roadside memorial for Tamika Black-Atkins who died from her injuries after the deadly crash in August last year. Photo: Steve Evans

A L-PLATER who had been drinking and speeding around a corner when he crashed and killed his girlfriend has been jailed for three years.

Ryan Langer will spend at least 20 months behind bars for the death of 19-year-old Tamika Black-Atkins near Glen Innes last year.

The now 20-year-old admitted to a raft of charges including dangerous driving occasioning death by driving in dangerous manner for the August 12 crash, last year.

According to facts tendered in sentencing in Armidale District Court, Langer was socialising with Miss Black-Atkins, aged 19, on the night.

He went and bought alcohol and fuelled up at a local service station before driving to a rest stop at Beardy Waters on the Gwydir Highway, east of Glen Innes.

There he "consumed a number of cans of Jack Daniels and coke pre-mixed drinks whilst socialising with the others around a fire".

Tributes: The roadside memorial for Tamika Black-Atkins who died from her injuries after the crash on Shannon Vale Road in August last year. Photos: Steve Evans

Tributes: The roadside memorial for Tamika Black-Atkins who died from her injuries after the crash on Shannon Vale Road in August last year. Photos: Steve Evans

Langer then left, and “conducted a burnout, before accelerating rapidly along Shannon Vale Road, towards Glen Innes”.

Facts revealed Langer’s black Holden Commodore pulled away from a second vehicle, which was travelling in excess of 130km per hour, and at about 10.45pm, he lost control on a right-hand bend and hit a tree.

“The impact crushed the passenger side of the vehicle and the deceased became trapped within,” the agreed facts state.

The deceased passed away a number of hours later due to massive internal injuries sustained in the collision.

Police facts

“The deceased passed away a number of hours later due to massive internal injuries sustained in the collision.”

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Crash investigators found the Commodore had bald tyres, number plates registered to a different vehicle, the registration had expired in May, and the car was not insured. Langer was also an L-plater at the time.

Langer was also taken to hospital and five days later went to the police station but “denied having done any burnouts in the evening of the collision”.

“The offender admitted to knowing his vehicle was unregistered, and told police he had attached the false number plates to make out that it was registered,” facts state.

“He admitted to driving the vehicle knowing that he held only a learner permit and knowing that the deceased did not hold a driver's licence."

An analyst’s report of the blood alcohol concentration in Langer’s bloodstream at the time was determined to be no less than 0.032g, with a specialist pharmacologist concluding “that impairment of the offender due to alcohol would have been a factor in the collision."

Crash scene: The roadside memorial on Shannon Vale Road. Photo: Steve Evans

Crash scene: The roadside memorial on Shannon Vale Road. Photo: Steve Evans

In sentencing, Judge Jeffery McLennan also took into account charges of using an unregistered car, an uninsured car, carrying out a burnout and driving a car with bald tyres.

He was convicted without further penalty of being a learner driver unaccompanied, special range PCA, negligent driving occasioning death and using a vehicle with misleading number plates.

Judge McLennan said Langer was entitled to a 25 per cent discount for his early guilty pleas and found special circumstances, with the sentence to be Langer’s first time behind bars.

The 20-year-old will be first eligible for parole in April 2020.

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