A GERMAN motorist who pulled out into the path of a Blaenporth woman, killing her and her dog, has today received a suspended prison sentence.
Haki Celik, aged 37, admitted causing the death of Nicola Owen by driving without due care and attention.
Mrs Owen, 42, of Bowls Road, Blaenporth, near Cardigan, had been returning from Aberporth beach on February 19, 2015, after walking her collie pup Floss.
Her Peugeot car collided with Celik’s Skoda Yeti as he pulled out of a side road on the A487 between Blaenporth and Tanygroes.
Celik later told police he had been disturbed by a car behind him and had not paid sufficient attention to traffic using the main road. He said he did not see Mrs Owen’s car until it was only five metres away.
Swansea Crown Court heard today that Mrs Owen, who worked in catering but had once worked at Cardigan post office, was trapped in the wreckage for three hours before she could be cut free.
During that time her husband, John Charles Owen, was able to make it to the scene and to speak to his wife, who was still conscious although badly injured.
She was taken to hospital suffering from chest and other injuries and was put into an induced coma. But she died two weeks later from multiple organ failure.
Her pet dog Floss also died from injuries sustained in the accident.
Georgina Buckley, prosecuting, said witnesses saw Celik’s car “slowly” move out from a junction into the path of Mrs Owen’s oncoming car.
Celik had been working at a local farm at the time.
He was sentenced to three years in jail sentence, suspended for a year, and ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work for the community.
Celik was also banned from driving for 12 months.
In a victim impact statement, Mr Owen said, “I’ve been devastated at the loss of Nicola, I miss her terribly and coming home every evening to an empty house is very difficult.
“The accident happened around one and a half miles from our home and I go past the scene every day and every time I’m reminded of what happened.
“She was only forty two and had so much ahead of her. Her death was unnecessary and should not have happened. Questions about it are always on my mind and I often stop at the spot trying to make sense of what happened. My life has been completely turned around.”
Judge Paul Thomas said what happened was not a momentary lapse as Mrs Owen’s car had been visible for many seconds before the collision.
But, he said, Celik appeared genuinely remorseful. “I have seen many of these type of cases and it’s an understandable human emotion to think of oneself and the ramifications for yourself after an accident but the defendant’s approach has been remarkably different.
“He has expressed his remorse and condolences and the first thing he said to police was to say how sorry he was for the predicament of the other driver.
“From his family background and good references, it seems he will carry the guilt of this incident for many years to come.”
He added, “What happened on that February day in Cardigan was an utter tragedy, the loss of a valued life, her husband, family and friends being left bereft by the cutting short of a well loved and much valued lady.”