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Fatal car crash caused by 100mph Snapchat challenge

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Swansea Crown Court

A DRIVER returning home from a holiday in Fishguard caused a fatal crash near Aberystwyth when he tried to reach 100 mph to create film footage for Snapchat.

Ricafort Gamboa raced along country roads while friends inside his car filmed him on their mobile telephones.

As he approached 100mph, his Citroen C3 left the road and smashed into a cottage, demolishing a 16 inch thick stone wall.

His friend, 18-year-old Ernest Pideli, was killed, and two other passengers were injured.

Gamboa, aged 25, admitted causing death and serious injury by dangerous driving and was jailed for four years.

Paul Hobson, prosecuting, told Swansea Crown Court the group had been returning to Manchester after a holiday at a caravan site in Fishguard.

Gamboa’s friends could be heard on mobile ‘phones recovered from the crashed car encouraging him to drive faster and he began taking corners on the wrong side of the road.

Gamboa was recorded saying: “I am going fast. I will go faster.”

But as he raced downhill into a series of corners he said ‘oh s**t’ as the car fishtailed, mounted a bank and then swerved across the road and into a cottage by the side of the A487 at Chancery a few miles south of Aberystwyth.

Mr Pideli died four days later from head and neck injuries.

Gamboa, a Philippinno with British status, told a police officer at the scene he had been doing ‘more than 90’ and explained later that his friends had wanted him to reach 100 mph so they could take photographs for Snapchat.

He said in a police interview: “I take full responsibility for what happened. My stupid decision to drive so fast was the cause of the collision.

“I deserve to be punished. I am deeply sorry for what happened.”.

The court heard that Mr Pideli had been a talented footballer and had an ambition of returning to his native Philippines and playing for the national team.

Gamboa’s barrister, Charles Row, said he was so remorseful that he was genuine when he said he wished he had died and not his friend.

Mr Row said at one point police had considered charging his friends for their encouragement of him to drive faster just so they could film him and the speedometer.

Judge Keith Thomas told Gamboa, who wept as he was being sentenced, that he had used the road as a racetrack.

“You drove at breakneck speed saying you were trying to reach one hundred miles an hour.

“And you ignored signs telling you to slow down and that there were bends ahead.

“Your friend was only eighteen and had his whole life in front of him. You have caused incalculable loss to his family,” he added.

Gamboa, a Domino pizza restaurant shift manager, of Johnson Fold Avenue, Bolton, was banned from driving for five years after his eventual release from prison.

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New Quay RNLI lifeboat crew trains with lifeguards

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NEW QUAY lifeboat station hosted a special training evening with the lifeboat crew and Ceredigion’s RNLI lifeguards last week.

Pete Yates, one of New Quay RNLI’s inshore lifeboat helms, worked closely with Ceredigion lifeguard supervisor, Tirion Dowsett, to plan scenarios for the teams to practice working together in casualty care situations.

A large scale scenario included four casualties to be dealt with by the inshore lifeboat crew and two lifeguard teams on a nearby beach, whilst a third lifeguard team and lifeboat crew members dealt with a separate scenario at the lifeboat station.

Pete said: “It was a great evening of training. We had 9 lifeguards and 13 lifeboat crew in attendance.

“The main scenario included casualties suffering from hypothermia and propeller injuries. A second scenario involved a mechanic suffering head injuries in the forepeak of the all-weather lifeboat and requiring extraction on a stretcher.

“On completion of these scenarios we all gathered back at the station where one of our senior crew members sprung a great act at being a diabetic having a hypo, and being suitably angry and aggressive.”

Roger Couch, New Quay RNLI’s Lifeboat Operations Manager, added: “It was great for our lifeboat crew members to work with the lifeguards as it builds a deeper understanding of each other’s roles and encourages teamwork between us. This is of great benefit when dealing with real life casualty care situations.”

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Coastguard rescues dog stuck on cliffs

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LAST TUESDAY (Aug 27), New Quay RNLI’s inshore D-class lifeboat, Audrey LJ, was tasked by Milford Haven Coastguard to assist the Coastguard with a dog stuck on the cliffs near New Quay.

The volunteer crew launched the inshore lifeboat at 1.50pm with four crew members on board and made their way south down the coast.

Brett Stones, New Quay RNLI’s helm said: “We located the dog on the cliffs by Castell Bach, near Cwmtydu. We stood by while the Coastguard team caught the animal. The dog was unharmed and safe with the Coastguard so we were stood down.

“However, while returning to station we were then tasked to a small vessel with engine failure. We towed the stricken boat with three people on board back to New Quay. We rehoused the inshore lifeboat and it was ready for service by 2.40pm.”

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New maintenance Lorries cut carbon emissions

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The Ground Maintenance Team has purchased three new lorries to support ground maintenance services in Ceredigion.

The new lorries will move Ceredigion County Council’s Ground Maintenance Service’s equipment to and from the grounds that they look after. The lorries will also take cut grass away for composting. This provides the most efficient way of maintaining the areas that the team is responsible for.

Councillor Dafydd Edwards is the Cabinet member responsible for Highways and Environmental Services together with Housing. He said: “The new vehicles replace ones which had provided excellent service for almost 20 years. They are fitted with Euro 6 engines which are considerably more efficient and better for the environment.”

The Grounds Maintenance Team is also incrementally introducing electric-powered mowers, blowers, hedge cutters and strimmers into its fleet. This equipment is better for the environment, is easier to use and causes less noise and vibration.

The new lorries support Ceredigion County Council’s commitment to be a net-zero carbon council by 2030.

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