Baby was just 32 minutes old when he died after crash

Driver admits killing premature baby after causing head-on collision.

Baby was just 32 minutes old when he died after crash Getty Images

A driver has admitted killing a premature baby who was born after a head-on crash.

Stephen Stennett, 23, caused a collision with a van on the B9157 near Kirkcaldy, Fife in October 2018.

Heavily pregnant Shannon Myers was a passenger in Stennett’s car, a Seat Leon.

The 18-year-old, who was 30 weeks’ pregnant, had to have an emergency caesarean section to give birth to son Luke Myers, however he died 32 minutes later.

Stennett, a first offender from Cowdenbeath, Fife, pleaded guilty at the High Court in Glasgow to causing death by dangerous driving.

The court heard he attempted a “dangerous” overtaking manoeuvre.

Prosecutor Murdoch McTaggart said: “The accused pulled out and drove into the path of an oncoming van.

“The accused’s vehicle ended up in a ditch on the side of the road.”

Ms Myers, who was in the front passenger seat, complained about pain in her abdomen and was taken to hospital by a concerned witness.

A scan showed the baby had a heartbeat of 60 beats per minute.

Mr McTaggart said: “This was regarded as low and gave cause for concern.”

An emergency c-section was performed and medics fought to save Luke’s life, however after 12 minutes no heartbeat could be detected.

Mr McTaggart said: “At 32 minutes of full resuscitation all team members agreed to withdraw life support and life was pronounced extinct.”

Luke’s cause of death was stated as “complications of traumatic abruption due to road traffic collision”.

Pathologists found Luke with red marks on his face as well as fractures to his collarbone and four ribs.

Ms Myers suffered broken toes and a fractured arm which was placed in a cast. Two 15-year-old passengers in the car were also injured.

The van driver, his wife and their daughter, who was in the passenger seat, escaped with minor injuries.

Stennett, who worked for Virgin Media, was later traced and arrested when he admitted being the driver of the car.

Mr McTaggart added: “He earlier told a witness that the collision was his fault and that when he seen the van he tried to get in the ditch but that he still hit it.”

Ms Myers paid tribute to Luke on Facebook shortly after his death.

She said: “You will get your justice and the best send off, I love you so much my handsome little boy.”

Judge Lady Stacey deferred sentence until next month for background reports.

The judge said: “You will understand you pled guilty to a serious crime which had tragic results.

“When a life is lost, the court will almost always impose a period of imprisonment.”

Stennett, who was released on bail until sentencing, replied: “I’m sorry.”

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