Two drivers blinded by sun in Anglesey fatal collision sentenced

Reporter:

Court Reporter

Two drivers  “blinded” by the sun before a fatal collision with a cyclist on a country road in Anglesey received twelve months suspended jail terms.

Kevin Woods, aged 63, of Llanrhwydrus, near Amlwch, and Tomos Rhys Wheldon Williams, aged 33, of Llanfwrog, near Holyhead, admitted causing the death of Robert Llewellyn, aged 70, by careless driving.

Caernarfon crown court heard Woods’s Skoda car collided with the bike and then Williams’s van ran over Mr Llewellyn, a keen cyclist.

His widow Christine, who said her husband had been “extremely fit and very active,” urged the judge not to impose a prison term.

“Our family has been torn apart and I don’t want that to happen to anyone else,” she told the court.

Judge Niclas Parry said a life had been “needlessly and avoidably ended.” There was a responsibility on drivers to adapt their driving to the conditions. The judge said life could hardly have been better for Mr Llewellyn in April last year. He was about to celebrate his 50th wedding anniversary.

“That life was needlessly and avoidably ended by a tragic collision,” Judge Parry said.

He said the pleas of the victim’s wife and son for the drivers to avoid jail “speaks volumes for their decency and humanity.”

Both defendants must do 250 hours unpaid work and a 16 months ban was imposed.

Judge Parry said the accused came upon “exceptional” circumstances with blinding sunlight that morning but they were also driving at an inappropriate speed.

Jonathan Austin, defending Woods, said the fault was in failing to slow down or stop when dazzled by the sun. “He’s entirely remorseful,” the barrister said.

“He’s been devastated by what he did and the consequences of it.”

Duncan Bould, barrister for Williams, said :”He came upon a situation that no-one could have anticipated.” The carpenter was a caring family man and had been “profoundly affected” by what happened.

Prosecuting counsel Sion ap Mihangel said the defendants had clean licences.

The tragedy happened on the B5109 near Trefor. Williams had been driving a Ford Transit van behind the Skoda and both drivers had been blinded by the sun. They didn’t see the cyclist.

“Both drivers failed to take appropriate steps to adapt their driving. They maintained their speed, the sun was strong throughout,” counsel added.

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