Gellilydan road tragedy: baby and aunt’s deaths ‘accidental’

Family photos: North Wales Police

A coroner says he’s unable to determine what led to a road crash, which led to the deaths of a woman and her young niece.

Anna Williams (22) from Penrhyndeudraeth and six-month old Mili Wyn Ginniver, from Blaenau Ffestiniog, were being driven in a car on the A487 when it hit a lorry near Gellilydan in January 2018.

Ms Williams, a passenger in the front seat, was killed instantly, while Mili was taken to the Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool, but later died from severe head injuries.

Mili’s mother, Sioned Williams, was driving the Ford Fiesta car when it swerved out of control. She was taken to the Royal Stoke University Hospital with serious injuries but went onto recover.

The inquest into the crash heard the car lost control on a sharp bend, forcing Sioned Williams to try and overcorrect her steering. But the Fiesta ended up swerving into the path of an oncoming lorry.

The driver said she had no recollection of the crash and wasn’t called to give evidence at the Caernarfon hearing.

Michael Gaffney, the lorry driver, said he was travelling from Bala towards Porthmadog, en route to Pwllheli, where he was due to deliver chemicals.

Mr Gaffney saw the Fiesta swerve towards him as he slowed down to navigate the bend. The car was heading for the crash barrier, but Sioned swerved again and ended up hitting the front of the lorry broadside.

Mr Gaffney stopped, got out of his lorry and called the emergency services.

An eyewitness said the car was ‘out of control’ as it spun round towards the lorry, which was being driven carefully.

North Wales Police said neither the car nor the lorry had any mechanical faults – and the weather and the road surface were both unlikely to have caused the crash, despite occurring in midwinter.

In the weeks following the crash, more than £18,000 was raised for the family of both Ms Williams and Mili via the website JustGiving.

Two candelit vigiils took place in Porthmadog and Penrhyndeudraeth – along with a memorial concert featuring Bryn Fôn a’r Band, Gwibdaith Hen Fran and Alastair James.

A memorial to both Anna and Mili, called ‘The Stone of Strength’ (Y Garreg Orchest) was unveiled last weekend.

In a Facebook tribute after the crash, Mili’s dad Luke Ginniver wrote: ”With your smile, you could melt a million hearts and your giggle did nothing but bring happiness where ever (yo)u were.”

“You had a short time but did so much and seen so many things – you even had your own little group of friends and was taken to soon, but me and mam love (yo)u millions and (yo)u have taken a huge piece of our hearts.”

At the inquest, North West Wales coroner Dewi Pritchard Jones concluded it was a ”particularly tragic collision” which a profound effect on the entire family – particularly Sioned Williams, who lost both her sister and daughter.

But Mr Jones said the Fiesta car had lost control for reasons he couldn’t explain – and both Ms Williams and Mili had ”no prospect” of surviving the crash.

The hearing returned verdicts of accidental death.

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