South East Wales

New bus driver killed woman in Bridgend crash

Bus stop outside McArthur Glen retail park, Bridgend and Jay Stolzenberg Image copyright Google/Wales News Service

A bus driver killed a 76-year-old woman on his first shift behind the wheel, Newport Crown Court has heard.

Jay Stolzenberg, 25, hit the side of a parked car just as Glenys Thomas was climbing into the vehicle.

She suffered several fractures when the car was shunted on to her, and she died in hospital as a result of complications from the injuries.

Stolzenberg pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving, and was given a 27-week suspended jail term.

The court head that Stolzenberg, from Caerau, Maesteg, in Bridgend county, had only passed his driving test nine months earlier.

He was being supervised on his first outing as a driver for First Cymru buses, when the incident happened in May 2016.

'Block them in'

But when he approached a stop outside the McArthur Glen retail park in Bridgend, a Renault car was parked in the bus bay where Mrs Thomas was being picked up after a trip to Bournemouth.

He was urged to "block them in" by his supervisor - but misjudged the distance and hit the vehicle with the single-decker bus.

Prosecutor James Wilson said the manoeuvre was "careless".

"Stolzenberg was driving a large vehicle near a bus stop and near a car park. There were obviously going to be pedestrians coming and going.

"He failed to react properly to a stationary car.

"It was his responsibility to act in a safe manner, and could have easily avoided the collision which caused the death of Mrs Thomas."

'Clearly unsafe'

Sentencing Stolzenberg, Judge Philip Harris-Jenkins said Mrs Thomas would still be alive had he waited for oncoming traffic to clear.

"This was purely down to your careless driving. You undertook a manoeuvre when it was clearly unsafe to do so," said the judge.

"As a bus driver you should have expressed greater care around the bus stop."

Stolzenberg's prison sentence was suspended for two years, and he was ordered to do 150 hours of unpaid work.

He was also banned from driving for two years, and must pass an extended driving test before getting his licence returned.

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