A TEENAGE motorist has been jailed following an investigation into a crash that killed an 18-year-old girl in November 2019.
Dylan Wyn Benjamin, aged 19, from the Bontnewydd area of Aberystwyth, was sentenced to five years in prison, reduced to three years and four months following his early guilty plea, for causing the death of Ellie Catherine Bryan by dangerous driving
He was also charged with causing serious injuries to both Kelsey Jarvis and Tee Jay Lewis by dangerous driving following an investigation by Dyfed-Powys Police.
Benjamin was the driver of a Vauxhall Astra in which Ellie, Kelsey and Tee Jay were passengers, when he lost control on the A487 between Aberystwyth and Commins Coch on Saturday, 16th November 2019.
The car collided with a tree before rebounding into the carriageway and hitting an oncoming vehicle.
Benjamin had previously pleaded guilty to all offences at a hearing on 6th November 2020.
His co-defendant Lena Faye Evans, driving a separate vehicle behind Benjamin at the time of the collision, was acquitted of all offences at her trial earlier this year.
HHJ Geraint Walters told Benjamin that a custodial sentence was inevitable and stated: “Cases such as this should remind us that roads such as this are not a playground, and at the top of Penglais Hill is exactly what it became for you.”
Giving him credit for his earlier guilty plea, HHJ Walters sentenced Benjamin to three years and four months in custody, with a driving disqualification of five years, including the requirement of sitting an extended test.
Officer in charge of the case PC Eleri Edwards read out a statement on behalf of Ellie’s family in which they said Ellie was a ‘remarkable person’, and that her death had left them in complete shock.
The family said they were relieved that the prosecution case was over and that they now wish to be left alone to come to terms with their loss.
PC Edwards added: “We hope the end of the police investigation and court proceedings brings some comfort to Ellie’s family, who have remained incredibly strong throughout.
“This incident was a tragedy that could have been avoided, leaving a family mourning the loss of a much loved young lady.
“We urge drivers to take care on the roads, which as the judge stated in court, are not a playground.”
Ceredigion AM Elin Jones had called at the time on the Welsh Government to take action.
The Welsh Government said the Trunk Road Agency had inspected the site.
The A487 is the main route for coastal traffic between north and south Wales.
Elin Jones told The Herald: “The amount of accidents on this stretch of road over recent years has been high, yet the improvements desperately needed have not taken place,” said Ms Jones, who is the presiding officer for the National Assembly for Wales.
“After every accident there are calls from myself, local councillors, MPs, local residents and families devastated by accidents here for the improvements that are desperately needed to be done.
“The Welsh Government cannot let another accident take place. We’ve had site meetings and reports, but the Government must take action and commit to improving safety on this stretch now.”
Parents warned to look out for respiratory illness in children
RESPIRATORY Syncytial Virus (RSV) is circulating amongst children and toddlers in the Hywel Dda area (Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire)
Hywel Dda UHB Medical Director and Deputy Chief Executive Dr Philip Kloer said: “Because of the COVID restrictions, there have been few cases of RSV during the pandemic, but this virus has returned and in higher numbers now people are mixing more.
“RSV is a common respiratory illness which is usually picked up by children during the winter season, and causes very few problems to the majority of children. However, very young babies, particularly those born prematurely, and children with heart or lung conditions, can be seriously affected and it’s important that parents are aware of the actions to take.”
Parents are being encouraged to look out for symptoms of severe infection in at-risk children, including:
*a high temperature of 37.8°C or above (fever)
*a dry and persistent cough, difficulty feeding, rapid or noisy breathing (wheezing).
The best way to prevent RSV is to wash hands with soap and water or hand sanitiser regularly, dispose of used tissues correctly, and to keep surfaces clean and sanitised.
Most cases of bronchiolitis are not serious and clear up within 2 to 3 weeks, but you should contact your GP or call NHS 111 if:
- You are worried about your child.
- Your child has taken less than half their usual amount during the last two or three feeds, or they have had a dry nappy for 12 hours or more.
- Your child has a persistent high temperature of 37.8C or above.
- Your child seems very tired or irritable.
Dial 999 for an ambulance if:
- your baby is having difficulty breathing
- your baby’s tongue or lips are blue
- there are long pauses in your baby’s breathing
New Quay RNLI rescues person cut off by the tide
NEW Quay RNLI’s inshore lifeboat was launched on service on Saturday September 11 following a report of a person cut off by the tide at Traeth Gwyn, New Quay.
With three crew members on board the inshore lifeboat Audrey LJ it launched on service at 11.15am and did an extensive search of the beach before finding the casualty who had been cut off by the high spring tide.
Brett Stones, New Quay RNLI’s helm said, “There was an initial confusion on the location of the casualty but an update from the New Quay Coastguard Rescue team, who had fought their way down from the cliff top through thick undergrowth, allowed us to locate the person.
“We then transferred the casualty and two of the coastguard team onto the boat. We dropped the casualty off at Llanina Point and brought the two coastguard officers back to the lifeboat station. The inshore lifeboat was then rehoused and ready for service by 12.25pm.
“Remember if you see if you see anyone in difficulty or you find yourself in trouble on the coast call 999 and ask for the Coastguard.”
Ben Lake shows support for farmers on Back British Farming Day
BEN Lake MP has today shown support for British food and farming on Back British Farming Day, recognising the crucial role farmers in Ceredigion play in producing food for the nation.
The National Farmers’ Union (NFU) provided MPs with the emblem of the day – a wool and wheatsheaf pin badge – to enable them to join the celebration of agriculture. Food and farming is a key business sector, worth more than £120 billion to the UK economy and providing jobs for almost four million people.
The NFU chose the day to launch a new report which asks for Government to complete a comprehensive report on UK food security later this year, covering the country’s production of key foods and its contribution to global food security. This would be the first meaningful assessment of UK food security in over a decade.
Commenting, Ben Lake MP, said: “I’m proud to wear a pin badge today to show my support for Ceredigion’s fantastic farmers and growers. The day presents an opportunity to thank the farmers who feed us, as well as take care of our countryside and maintain our iconic Welsh landscapes.
“I fully support the campaign which is asking us all to value locally produced food. I will be calling on Government to adopt agricultural policies that ensure farming in Ceredigion can thrive and ensure our self-sufficiency does not fall below its current level of 60%, alongside a greater ambition in promoting Welsh food to aid UK food security.”
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