Wales

Snowdonia campsite death: Driver who killed woman by hitting tent jailed

Anna Roselyn Evans Image copyright Family photo
Image caption Anna Roselyn Evans was trapped after the car hit the tent she was staying in

A man who killed a woman and injured three others after driving while drunk around a campsite has been jailed for eight years and four months.

Jake Waterhouse, 27, of Partington, Greater Manchester, had been drinking whiskey before driving on 19 August.

He drove over a tent where Anna Roselyn Evans, 46, from Aberystwyth, and her husband were sleeping at the Rhyd Y Galen site in Snowdonia.

Waterhouse admitted causing death by dangerous driving at Mold Crown Court.

It took five people to lift the car off Mrs Evans before the mother-of-two was taken to hospital, but she died eight days later.

The court heard how Waterhouse and a friend had travelled to Wales on a fishing trip but Waterhouse only had a provisional licence and had not passed his driving test.

Earlier in the day Waterhouse's friend suggested he learn to drive on private land, saying there would not be many people on the campsite.

Image copyright North Wales Police
Image caption Jake Waterhouse admitted causing death by dangerous driving

In the early hours, while his friend was in the tent, Waterhouse drove his friend's Subaru Impreza around the campsite.

Campers described hearing "revving as if a vehicle was stuck in mud" and one person shouted: "He's running over the tents."

He hit one tent, injuring its occupants before the car ploughed into the Evans's tent.

Mrs Evans's husband Huw described hearing an "almighty bang".

The court heard how the "tent was clearly destroyed, and he couldn't find his wife Anna" before he saw her legs sticking out from underneath a car.

Waterhouse ran from the scene and sent a text to his partner to say he was on the run. He also called his mother, who told him to "do the right thing" and he handed himself in to police shortly after.

A roadside breath test showed him to be over the alcohol limit but he refused to give further specimens once in custody, which Judge Rhys Rowlands said was probably to hide how drunk he was.

The judge described the circumstances of this case as "harrowing" and said Waterhouse showed "complete disregard for the safety of others".

Mrs Evans had "lost her life in front of her husband in quite the most horrific way," the judge added.

Image caption Rhyd y Galen is a 22-acre campsite in Bethel, Gwynedd

He said the combination of Waterhouse's drunken state and his lack of driving experience was "pretty much an accident waiting to happen".

"It completely understates matters to say it was the height of drunken stupidity on your part," he added.

He said if the occupants of the first tent had not been woken by the noise they too might have received serious or fatal injuries.

Waterhouse had also admitted driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence, driving with no insurance and failing to provide a breath specimen for analysis.

As well as the custodial sentence, he was disqualified from driving for 12 years and two months.

Speaking after the sentencing, Sgt Dafydd Curry of North Wales Police said: "This was a horrific incident where the mindless actions of an individual have taken the life of an innocent person."

Shortly after Ms Evans died, her son Richard posted on Facebook: "Tonight I had to say goodbye to the most amazing woman I've ever known.

"It was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. She was my mother, my best friend, my rock and I'm going to miss her so so much."

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