Suspended sentence for man who admitted causing fatal crash on A494 near Corwen

Reporter:

Geraint Jones

A MAN admitted causing a crash between Corwen and Bala that led to an elderly woman’s death .

Mair Evans, 84, died in hospital on March 6, 2016 after a three vehicle crash on the A494 near Glan yr Afon in Gwynedd on February 25.

Robert Michael McEwing, 33, admitted causing her death by driving without due care and attention.

Robert Blakemore, prosecuting at Wrexham Magistrates Court yesterday, said McEwing’s Mercedes 320 CLK went into the wrong side of the road after he failed to negotiate a right hand bend on the main route between Corwen and Bala.

McEwing had been travelling in the direction of Corwen while Mrs Evans and her 81-year-old husband Artro were heading towards Bala.

The car collided with a Renault being driven by Mr Evans, who was driving at ‘very reasonable speed’ of about 45mph and could not have done anything to avoid the other car, Mr Blakemore said.

The Mercedes was ‘totally out of control’ and struck the front of Mr Evans’ car.

A black Honda Civic travelling behind McEwing was unable to stop and made ‘light contact’ with both vehicles, Mr Blakemore added.

A motorist two cars behind Mr Evans saw a car travelling round the bend at speed and collide with the Renault, before spinning back onto the correct side of the road. She heard McEwing shouting ‘It’s my fault, it’s my fault’.

McEwing, originally from Bolton, Greater Manchester, but who had been living in Cefn Mawr, Wrexham, passed a breathalyser test but a roadside swipe revealed he had cannabis in his system, although it was below the specified driving limit.

His partner told police in interview a black car had tried to overtake them on two or three occasions.

In interview McEwing denied speeding, saying he was going around the national speed limit. There was a Black Honda behind him, he added.

He said he should not have been looking behind him so much and referred to an incident where he was momentarily distracted, Mr Blakemore said.

McEwing told officers he had been tailgated, the court heard, but added he should have taken the corner at 40mph and ‘made a mistake’.

The collision occurred at about 4.20pm, conditions were dry, there was no visual impairment and the national speed limit road was in good condition, Mr Blakemore said.

A road traffic investigation found McEwing caused the crash through ‘harsh braking’.

McEwing, now of Corston Grove, Blackrod, Bolton, pleaded guilty to causing death by driving without due care and attention.

Stephen Edwards, defending, said McEwing, a delivery driver, had been on a day out in Llandudno with his partner. They had decided to take the scenic route home and were not in a rush to get back. The collision happened because McEwing was going too fast for that particular bend, Mr Edwards told district judge Gwyn Jones.

The corner where the collision occurred was the last in a series of bends McEwing had negotiated safely, but he had not appreciated that the final one was ‘very severe’.

Mr Edwards noted the traffic report’s finding a vehicle travelling at more than 50mph would not be able to take the corner safely.

McEwing, who had a clean licence and was an experienced motorcyclist, had offered what help he could to those involved until the emergency services arrived, the court was told.

Mr Edwards added the primary cause of the collision was that McEwing had misjudged the corner. He felt genuine remorse and was ‘deeply upset’ about the consequences that his actions had for the Evans family.

District judge Gwyn Jones said Mr and Mrs Evans were an active couple who were enjoying their time together.

It would be difficult for immediate and extended family, as well as the community, to come to terms with what had happened.

The matter would be with McEwing for some time as well, knowing his driving had resulted in the loss of a wife, mother and grandmother.

The judge added that the personal mitigating factors in the case were ‘very strong’.

McEwing was jailed for 16 weeks, suspended for a year, ordered to complete 200 hours of unpaid work, banned from driving for two years, his licence endorsed and must also pay £85 in prosecution costs and a £115 surcharge.

Mr Jones commended North Wales Police’s roads policing unit for its report and praised the ‘totally dignified’ way in which the Evans family dealt the matter.

After the hearing Mrs Evans’ son, John Evans, said it had been a ‘very long and emotional time’ for the family.

We’re glad to have had some sort of closure,” he added.

Fatal Enquiry Officer, PC Arwyn Phillips from the Roads Policing Unit said: "McEwing now has to live with the knowledge that his actions has resulted in the death of a much loved lady.

"This is a tragic case that once again shows how vitally important it is for motorists to give their complete and unreserved attention while driving on the roads.

"Our thoughts remain with Mrs Evans' family at this difficult time."

See full story in the Free Press

Leave your comment

Share your opinions on

Characters left: 1500

Most Read