Wales

'Snapchat race' driver killed friend in Aberystwyth crash

Ricafort Gamboa Image copyright Dyfed-Powys Police
Image caption Ricafort Gamboa had been driving friends home following a caravan holiday

A driver has been jailed for causing a crash which killed his friend as he tried to reach 100mph to film footage for Snapchat.

Ricafort Gamboa, 25, from Bolton, raced along country roads near Aberystwyth, while friends inside his car filmed him on their mobile phones.

But his Citroen C3 smashed into a wall, killing Ernest Pideli, 18 and injuring two others, Swansea Crown Court heard.

Gamboa admitted causing death and serious injury by dangerous driving.

He was jailed for four years after telling police: "I take full responsibility for what happened. My stupid decision to drive so fast was the cause of the collision.

"I deserve to be punished. I am deeply sorry for what happened."

Paul Hobson, prosecuting, told the court the group had been returning to Manchester after a holiday at a caravan site in Fishguard, Pembrokeshire.

Image copyright Getty Images

Gamboa's friends could be heard on mobile phones recovered from the crashed car encouraging him to drive faster and he began taking corners on the wrong side of the road.

Gamboa, a Filipino with British status, was recorded saying, "I am going fast. I will go faster."

But as he raced downhill into a series of corners, the car fishtailed, mounted a bank and then swerved across the road and into a cottage on the side of the A487 at Chancery, a few miles south of Aberystwyth.

A 16in (41cm) thick stone wall was demolished by the car, which had been doing more than 90mph.

'Incalculable loss'

Mr Pideli, who had been a talented footballer and had been hoping to return to his native Philippines, died four days later from head and neck injuries.

Gamboa's barrister, Charles Row, said he was so remorseful, he was being genuine when he said he wished he had died and not his friend.

Image caption The cottage which the car crashed into

Judge Keith Thomas told Gamboa, who wept as he was being sentenced, that he had used the road as a racetrack.

"You drove at breakneck speed saying you were trying to reach 100mph," he said.

"And you ignored signs telling you to slow down and that there were bends ahead.

"Your friend was only 18 and had his whole life in front of him. You have caused incalculable loss to his family."

Gamboa, a Domino's Pizza restaurant shift manager, was also banned from driving for five years.