South West Wales

Anguish of Gavin Collier family after test drive death

Gavin Collier
Image caption Gavin Collier was a car enthusiast, Swansea Crown Court was told

The family of a young man killed when he was on a test drive say his loss has had a "devastating" impact.

Gavin Collier, 20, of Neath, died when the driver of a car he was considering buying crashed into a parked car while travelling at up to 75mph.

Nathan Morris, 23, was jailed for four years on Monday for causing death by dangerous driving.

Mr Collier's father, Jonathan, said grief over the death had caused ill health and distress in the family.

In a victim statement, Mr Collier said: "As a direct result of Gavin's death, several family members have suffered from health problems and, sadly, Gavin's grandmother died suddenly in January this year.

"The funeral was held just a week before the court case."

He said his son, who travelled to Tenby, Pembrokeshire, to view Mr Morris's Peugeot hatchback in February 2010 but was not driving at the time of the crash, "loved life and lived it to the full".

"When Gavin was aged only 13, his mother died from a brain tumour, which made him realise how precious life is," he said.

"He had many interests including cycling, bodybuilding, boxing and, of course, he loved cars among other interests.

"Gavin's loss before his 21st birthday has had a devastating effect on me and my family and the trauma caused by Mr Morris's actions cannot be overstated.

"Gavin was much loved and will be forever sorely missed."

PC Justin Williams of Dyfed Powys Police's roads policing unit was the investigating officer on the case.

He said he was satisfied with the sentence handed down to Morris.

Image caption Gavin Collier was a passenger on a test in this car when it crashed

"No matter how long Mr Morris serves in prison, the sad fact remains that nothing will ever bring back Gavin, and Mr Morris will have to live with that fact for the rest of his life," he said.

"There are no winners in this case and Gavin's untimely and tragic death should serve as a potent reminder about the terrible consequences of reckless and dangerous driving."

Earlier the court heard Morris was trying to sell the car with a faulty shock absorber which he had been previously warned about in an MoT test.

Prosecutor James Jenkins told the court Morris hit speeds of 75mph as he was trying to manoeuvre around a sweeping left hand bend on a country road in Tenby.

Trainee mechanic Morris lost control and crashed into a parked car killing Mr Collier instantly.

He told police he was driving at 50mph.

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