Driver jailed for horrific Edinburgh fireball death smash

The grieving relatives of fireball car crash victim Jonny Smith have thanked the people of Edinburgh for their support – after seeing the driver who caused his death jailed for six years.

By Dave Finlay
Friday, 26th November 2021, 7:23 pm

Let us know what you think and join the conversation at the bottom of this article.

Ednilson De Ceita's BMW X5 collided with a Peugeot 206 being driven by Jonny, 29, who suffered a fatal head injury in the crash before his car exploded in flames. His body was recovered by firefighters.

De Ceita, 29, had denied causing the death of groundworker Mr Smith by dangerous driving on May 25 in 2018 on the A902 Maybury Road, in Edinburgh, by driving at excessive speed and driving onto the opposite carriageway into the path of oncoming vehicles and colliding with the Peugeot and another vehicle.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

A jury at the High Court in Edinburgh also found property firm manager De Ceita, of Western Harbour Way, Edinburgh, guilty of driving the car at the time of the fatal collision when he did not have a valid licence or insurance.

Members of Mr Smith’s family posted their appreciation for the support they had received on the Justice For Jonny Facebook page.

They wrote: “He was given 6 years and a 9 year driving ban. In all honesty we were thinking less.

"Realistically it makes no difference nothing changes although if anything takes a dangerous driver off the road and might just save a life

Moving: Tributes at the spot where Jonny Smith lost his life.

“As a family as a whole we would just like to thank every single person for all their nice words and support whether it was comments, messages or calls.. we even had cards through the door at the start it really has been outstanding. So from the bottom of all our hearts, we appreciate it and thank you and we will always remember how nice and supportive everyone has been it means so much.”

Police are still hunting for the driver of a stolen grey Audi A3, with number plate SM17 EAK, which De Ceita had swerved to avoid. It is believed to have been in convoy with a silver hatchback when the tragedy occurred at 3am.

Jailing De Ceita, Lord Beckett said: "You gave Mr Smith no chance of surviving the collision."

He said Mr Smith was "a wholly innocent young man" who had spent much of his last day caring for a brother who was recovering from illness.

The death of Jonny Smith has left his family devastated.

Lord Beckett said he had read "harrowing statements" from the victim's relatives and was given information about "Jonathan's life and work and hopes and dreams". He said: "They explain the devastation brought on them."

The judge said: "I am left in no doubt that a number of his close relatives have suffered grievous consequences for their physical and mental health. It is the manner of your driving which caused the fatal accident."

Defence counsel Ronnie Renucci QC said De Ceita had “genuine remorse” over the tragedy

Killer driver jailed for six years: Ednilson De Ceita

Following the sentencing hearing, Detective Chief Inspector Graham Grant said: “Jonny’s family have had to wait over three years for justice. They have been dignified and resolute throughout and I hope that today’s verdict offers them some form of comfort.”

A message from the Editor:

Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by coronavirus impacts our advertisers.

If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription.

Tragic: The scene of the fatal crash.