North East Wales

Drink-driver Emyr Jones jailed for killing man in crash

Ryan Draper
Image caption Ryan Draper died and his girlfriend was seriously injured

A drink-driver who killed a man when his van careered off the road into two pedestrians, knocking them into a field, has been jailed for six years.

Ryan Draper, 27, from Deeside in Flintshire, died while his partner Kim Martin, also 27, and from Rhyl, suffered life-changing injuries.

Mold Crown Court heard Emyr David Jones, 43, of Denbigh, initially told police he had swerved to avoid a fox.

He admitted causing death and serious injury by dangerous driving.

The court heard Jones initially said he thought he had hit a tree and told people at the scene an ambulance was not needed.

But when other drivers stopped to help, Mr Draper and Miss Martin were found in a nearby field.

Mr Draper died at the scene while Miss Martin was taken to hospital with with serious pelvic, leg, wrist and other injuries.

The court heard she has been left in constant pain since and now walks with a limp.

Image copyright North Wales Police
Image caption Emyr Jones has a previous conviction for drink driving involving a crash

Tests showed Jones had not hit the brakes before the crash, but went on to the wrong side of the road and hit the couple as they walked in the dark along the B5122 on July 30 last year.

The court heard he had not swerved or tried to avoid them and the van hit a tree and overturned into a field after hitting them.

Later in hospital, his blood alcohol reading was 173 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood. The legal limit is 80.

In a statement to police at the time of the incident, he denied dangerous or careless driving and described the crash as "a tragic accident".

'Selfish and thoughtless'

He suggested one of the pedestrians stumbled in front of him and he could not avoid a collision.

Brian Treadwell, defending, said the road had no pavement and Jones had become disorientated, lost control and collided with the pair "because his ability to drive was impaired by the alcohol he had consumed".

But he added Jones accepted full responsibility, was remorseful and had himself said he should go to prison to be punished for what he had done.

Sentencing Jones, Judge Niclas Parry said the crash was caused by his "utterly selfish and thoughtless" decision to drive after he had been drinking heavily all afternoon.

Jones, who also had a drink-driving conviction after a crash 14 years ago, was banned from driving for nine years.

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