Driver who took bend too fast near Wrexham caused fatal crash

Reporter:

Staff Reporter

A young man has been jailed for 32 months for causing the death of a father of two by dangerous driving.

Tragically victim Adrian Gammon, 48, was the second brother to be killed in a car crash.

He died in April last year when his vehicle was hit by a car being driven too fast on a bend by Joseph Bonwick, 21, on the A534 near Wrexham.

Bonwick and his two passengers were said to be laughing as they entered the bend.

He lost control of the VW Polo and struck a vehicle in which
Mr Gammon was a passenger and carrying other staff and young people from a care home.

Another passenger was seriously injured.

Judge Niclas Parry, sitting at Mold Crown Court yesterday, said the defendant was a young man of good character.

But he could not ignore Facebook entries which he said indicated an attitude of bravado and ‘an unacceptable attitude towards previous accidents and incidents involving excessive speed’.

Judge Parry said: “The public and in particular the victim’s family would not expect me to ignore that feature.”

But he took into account that he had no convictions and was a man of good character with a clean driving licence.

Judge Parry said that on April 22, a fine day when visibility was good and the road conditions faultless, the life of Mr Gammon was taken.

He was a father of two daughters, a loved and loving husband who devoted his life to the care of others whose life was ‘wastefully and quite avoidably lost’.

An innocent second man was seriously injured.

“All of that because of your decision to drive without regard for the safety of others,” the judge said.

The defendant was carrying two passengers himself at a speed which was well in excess of the 40mph speed limit, in the region of 64mph.

“You drove into an s-bend when it was clear to everyone else that you would not be able to negotiate it safely,” Judge Parry said.

He would have seen and ignored signs warning of the impending danger. Witnesses had described his driving as: “Horrendous and dangerous”, he said.

“All said you were driving far too fast for the bend,” he added.

Bonwick, of Tilstock, Whitchurch, admitted causing death by dangerous driving and a second charge of causing injury by dangerous driving.

He was banned from diving for 42 months and ordered to take an extended driving test.

The judge said that because of his speed, all that was required for him to lose control completely was for the vehicle to mount the verge for a fraction of a second.

He said the court had to follow sentencing guidelines and the present case did not involve such aggravating features as drink, drugs, racing or competitive driving, texting or using a mobile phone.

The defendant had admitted responsibility to the police, pleaded guilty at the earliest stage and had expressed genuine remorse.

Prosecuting barrister Mark Connor said that it was a tragic case.

Mr Gammon was a rear seat passenger in a vehicle owned by a care home on its way to an ice cream farm and was being driven on the A534 near Holt.

It contained other members of staff and residents including a girl of 13.

It was being driven perfectly properly, but the defendant who approached too fast lost control and narrowly missed two other vehicles before the collision occurred.

There was a ‘massive impact’, a loud bang when both vehicles were lifted into the air.

The defendant was trapped, but his two passengers got out through a window. Mr Connor said that they did not help anyone and their behaviour ‘left a lot to be desired’.

Another member of staff was in hospital for three days with three broken ribs and a broken sternum.

Paramedics tried to save Mr Gammon, but sadly were unable to do so.

Bonwick produced a prepared statement to police, accepted that he drove too fast and admitted he was fully responsible for what had happened.

The prosecution expert’s case was that the speed was between 64mph and 75mph, but the defendant had pleaded guilty on the basis of the lower speed.

Defending barrister Robert Smith said the tragic events would be with his client for the rest of his life, irrespective of the sentence he received.

He was a decent, hard-working young man who had made a terrible mistake by driving far too fast into a bend. It was a road he was familiar with, but was over-confident in his own abilities and he had found himself in a catastrophic situation.

The defendant himself suffered significant injuries and was in hospital for five days, but he appreciated that was nothing compared to the loss suffered by
Mr Gammon’s family and the injuries that had been suffered by the other passenger.

Email:

it@nwn.co.uk

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