Mid Wales

Driver, 19, jailed after boyfriend died in crash

Swansea Guildhall
Image caption Swansea Crown Court heard Park had been driving for less than a year

A young driver, whose boyfriend died when she crashed while overtaking on a bend, has been jailed for 20 months.

Emma Park, 19, of Borth, near Aberystwyth, admitted causing death by dangerous driving.

Swansea Crown Court heard she tried to overtake a camper van and collided head-on with an articulated lorry.

Her boyfriend, Seren Woodhouse, 18, suffered serious head injuries and died a few hours after the crash last July.

Judge Keith Thomas said the danger Park had caused had been "brief but obvious".

The court heard how her Renault Clio had two defective tyres, which could have contributed to a loss of control as she tried to avoid the Mansel Davies tanker.

Straight road

Jim Davis, prosecuting, said Park had been driving towards Aberystwyth on the A487 at 1800 BST on July 28 last year.

She came up behind a Skoda Octavia which was behind a camper van.

The court was told that on a long stretch of straight road after the village of Llanrhystud the Skoda began to overtake the van and, unknown to its driver, Park decided to follow.

The Skoda driver completed the manoeuvre and pulled back into the nearside lane just before double white lines appeared at the start of a bend.

However, Park continued to overtake the camper van and the vehicles entered the bend side by side.

The driver of the approaching lorry saw the Clio ahead of him and braked and swerved, but the Clio turned side on and collided with his lorry.

'Dangerous decision'

Park's barrister, Paul Hobson, told the court she had been driving for less than a year, and was guilty of a "single, very bad, dangerous decision".

Park, a single mother of one, sobbed and trembled as JudgeThomas said the danger she had caused had been "brief but obvious."

He said human life could not be restored or its value measured by the number of years she would go to jail.

She was also banned from driving for two years and ordered to pass an extended driving test before getting her licence back.

Mr Woodhouse, from Mydroilyn, was a chef at the Cei Bach country club in New Quay, where Park was head waitress.