North East Wales

Law change call after Sealand crash case

Daniel Evans
Image caption Daniel Evans, a promising athlete, died in a car crash in February

The parents of a teenager killed in a car crash have called for a change in the law after the driver received community service and a driving ban.

Daniel Evans, 18, from Connah's Quay, Flintshire, died after the car in which he was a passenger crashed in Sealand.

Jack Hughes, 18, of Connah's Quay, was sentenced after admitting causing death by careless driving at Flintshire Magistrates' Court.

Now Mr Evans's parents have called for changes to sentencing guidelines.

Currently, a court sentencing motorists convicted of death by careless driving caused by a momentary lapse of attention is advised that a community order rather than a prison sentence is appropriate.

Hughes admitted causing death by careless driving and was ordered at a hearing on Thursday to carry out 100 hours' unpaid work for the community.

He was also banned from driving for a year, must retake his test and ordered to pay £85 costs.

The court heard that before the crash in February Hughes had no previous convictions, and had references, including a letter on behalf of one of the injured passengers who said it was a tragic accident.

Sentencing him, District Judge Andrew Shaw said he had to stick to the guidelines, which were introduced in 2008.

But outside Flint Magistrates' Court after the hearing, Mr Evans' father Mark said that he did not want his son to become just another statistic.

He said he appreciated that there were guidelines but he said that they should be reviewed.

"It is time the guidelines were changed," he said.

He added that he had hoped the case would have been dealt with in the crown court.

'Tragic case'

Mr Evans' mother Debbie said she was devastated by the sentence, adding: "We have been sentenced to life without Danny."

Mr Evans had represented Wales in the high jump and won a sports scholarship to Deeside College.

During the hearing Mr Shaw told Hughes: "This tragic case led to the loss of life of Daniel Evans, your friend, and injuries to two others in the vehicle."

He added: "The conclusion drawn by the police accident investigator was that this case involved a momentary loss of control."

He said he was aware of the "terrible pain the family suffered as a result of the loss of their much loved son who was an asset to the wider community".

He then told Hughes: "You faced up to what happened."

The court heard how the accident happened as the car travelled along the A548 Sealand Road on 15 February.

The four friends had been planning a night out in Chester and the three passengers were waving their arms to music.

However, after an oncoming car passed, the vehicle veered to the side of the road.

Hughes lost control of the Renault Clio, which ended upside down on the road.

He escaped relatively unscathed but Mr Evans was pronounced dead at the scene. Three others were taken to hospital with injuries.

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