Van driver jailed for causing nurse’s death

Family photo: North Wales Police

A van driver who admitted causing the death of a mother-of-two by dangerous driving has been jailed for sixteen months.

Plasterer Barry Slaymaker from Gwalchmai pleaded guilty earlier this month after Susan Owen was killed when her white BMW collided with a Volkswagen Transporter on the Nant-y-Garth Pass between Pentir and Y Felinheli in September 2016.

Slaymaker was due to stand trial at Caernarfon Crown Court after denying causing Mrs Owen’s death but changed his plea.

Caernarfon Crown Court heard Mrs Owen, from Pentre Berw, near Gaerwen, had been travelling to a hairdressers when an aluminium board blew off his roof rack and hit her car, which struck a wall. She died at the scene from head and spinal injuries.

The nurse, who worked in the Hergest unit at Ysbyty Gwynedd in Bangor, had been preparing for a holiday in New York to celebrate her husband’s birthday.

The defence said Slaymaker – a father-of-six – had accepted responsibility for his actions and knew that a prison sentence was likely.

Judge Huw Rees told the defendant that the three cords he used to attach the board to the roof of his van were unfit for purpose. There were no aggravating factors and the accident was caused solely by an insecure load.

Slaymaker was also banned from driving for two years.