A PENSIONER who caused a head-on ‘catastrophic’ road crash that killed an elderly woman passenger has been given a suspended jail term and banned from driving for five years.
Cardiff Crown Court heard that Terry Ing was an advanced motorist but made a “mistake with horrific consequences” when he pressed the accelerator of his silver Suzuki vitara 4x4 instead of the brake at the A472 Usk junction with the A449.
His vehicle flew across the carriageway head-on into a Seat, killing 73-year-old back seat car passenger Francis Green from Norwich, who had spent the day visiting Barry Island, and was returning with her husband of 53 years and their daughter to their holiday home in Monmouth.
Ing, 79, of Levitsfield Close, Rockfield, was injured in the collision, with witnesses saying the 4x4 narrowly avoided a broken down vehicle being recovered at the roadside before colliding with the Seat.
Mrs Green’s husband John, who was driving, and their daughter Beverley Green, in the front passenger seat, also suffered serious injuries.
The defendant, who the court heard is a member of the Rotary club, admitted causing death by dangerous driving and two charges of causing serious injury by dangerous driving on September 29, 2021.
Prosecutor Josh Scouller said Mrs Green was pulled out by rescuers but died at the scene, while her husband was trapped in the car with a fractured hip and had to be cut out.
Mr Green needed a full hip replacement as a result of the crash and his daughter suffered a serious wrist fracture, with both still needing help to cope with their injuries.
A victim impact statement from Mr Green said: “My loving wife of 53-years has been cruelly taken away from me in a few seconds…
The thought of the love of my life lying dead on the road I will never get over it.”
Ms Green said in her victim impact statement: “It represents the worst day in my life. It was a real-life horror story that will always be with me…
“[My mum] has been ripped from my life and my heart… My mum was my world and the glue who held us together as a family.”
Ian Bridge, for Ing, told the court: “The first and really important thing to say is how sorry he is for what he has done to the Green family.
“He will never be able to get out of his mind the misery he has caused.”
He had no previous convictions and had lived an “exemplary” life, but had made the “mistake” of pressing the acceleration pedal instead of the brake, he added.
Sentencing Ing to two years in prison suspended for two years, Judge Lucy Crowther told him he had failed to give way at the junction, where there was a breakdown recovery vehicle surrounded by safety cones and had overtaken on the wrong side of the road.
“You moved into the junction ‘flying’ out of the junction. You crossed two lanes of traffic coming to your right,” added the judge, hitting the cones around the breakdown scene.
“Witnesses saw at no point your brake lights come on. You drove head on into a car driven lawfully and carefully by Mr Green.
“Mr Green had no chance at all. There was nothing he could do. The impact was catastrophic.”
But Judge Crowther said he had shown remorse and had helped others, adding: “You have not sought to blame anyone else and you have not sought to justify what you did…
“You have spent most of your life helping people less fortunate than yourself. You are part of the Rotary club and raised money to help refugees in Ukraine.”