Driver who killed 10-year-old in horror Bishop’s Stortford crash is jailed

Ten-year-old Daniel Bennett died after the Bishop’s Stortford crash in May 2020.

Ten-year-old Daniel Bennett died after the Bishop’s Stortford crash in May 2020. - Credit: Family / Hertfordshire Police

A young driver has been jailed for two years after admitting causing death by dangerous driving in a crash which killed a 10-year-old boy two years ago.  

In March 2020, ten-year-old Daniel Bennett was out cycling with his father along Obrey Way in Bishop’s Stortford when a Vauxhall Corsa, being driven by Rory Panton, approached from behind. 

As he attempted to overtake the pair, Panton noticed a vehicle travelling in the opposite direction and aborted the attempt, cutting back into his lane.  

In doing so, he struck the boy’s bicycle, sending him into a ditch.  

He sustained a serious head injury and was airlifted to Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge, where he sadly died a week later. 

Following an investigation by the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Serious Collision Investigation Unit, Panton was charged in December 2021 and summoned to appear at court. 

Panton, aged 23, from Denby Grange in Harlow, was sentenced at St Albans Crown Court yesterday (February 28). 

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He pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving during the same hearing. 

He was also disqualified from driving for two years and ordered to take an extended test. 

Detective Constable Ben Amondsen, who led the investigation, said: “Our thoughts very much remain with Daniel’s family and friends at what continues to be an extremely difficult time.  

“Nothing will ever make up for the loss of a much-loved little boy who had a bright future ahead of him.  

“The judge described it as one of the saddest cases he has dealt with in his 25-year career. 

“This tragic incident reinforces the importance of exercising extra care and consideration on the roads, especially around more vulnerable users such as cyclists.  

“It’s better to arrive at your destination a few minutes late, than to put someone’s life at risk.”