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Driver speeding before fatal crash

Fatal collision


A man has admitted to driving too fast in wet conditions, which resulted in a fatal collision with an oncoming car in south Wales.

A court heard Colin Edward Sharratt, 25, was driving his Subaru Impreza along the A465 Heads of the Valley road on the outskirts of Merthyr, when he lost control and spun into another vehicle.

The driver, Patricia Jones, 53, from Aberdare, was killed instantly when the Subaru hit her Vauxhall Astra. The two passengers onboard, son Paul Jones and son-in-law Gavin Davies, survived the impact on December 28 2007.

Sharratt, of Wern Terrace in the Port Tennant area of Swansea, denies causing death by dangerous driving at Merthyr Crown Court.

The court heard that the defendant was accelerating to overtake a red Ford Fiesta ahead of him, but he felt his car lose traction. He managed to pull the car back behind the Fiesta but lost control again when the car suddenly "snapped" violently to the right.

"All I can remember is that I went into a spin and ended up on the wrong side of the road effectively," Sharratt said.

He said his car eventually came to a halt and he grabbed his phone to call police before seeing Mrs Jones's car heading straight for him.

Copyright © Press Association 2009

Stephen Nye from law firm Irwin Mitchell said: "This incident is a tragedy which could have been avoided. Time and time again we see cases where young drivers cause accidents as a result of driving too fast. This situation involves a high powered vehicle which was being driven too fast in wet conditions. Attempting to overtake in such conditions should only have been attempted with extreme caution. If the driver had adapted his driving to the conditions, this crash would have been avoided.

"The criminal Courts are continuing to review to consider the case, but regardless of the outcome of those proceedings a life has still been lost and others injured. From my experience of similar crash circumstances, clearly the family of the deceased and the injured individuals will be able to make civil claims for damages against the driver."