Husband accidentally ran over and killed his own wife who had just beaten cancer

A husband ran over and killed his motorcyclist wife when she lost control of her bike in front of him while trying to avoid an oncoming car on the wrong side of the road.

Vanessa McAloon, 48, who had battled cancer and was due to have her last session of chemotherapy the day after her death, was driving along the A4075 in west Wales when the accident happened.

As she approached a right-hand bend she encountered 84-year-old Jean Williams coming the other way. The pensioner was overtaking a tractor ‘too cautiously’ and still in the wrong lane, forcing Mrs McAloon to brake sharply to avoid colliding with Williams’ Vauxhall Corsa.

Mrs McAloon fell off her bike and was tragically hit and killed by her husband Jim, who had been travelling behind her.

Williams denied causing death by careless driving but was found guilty following a trial.

The 84-year-old was sentenced to 12 months in prison, suspended for two years, and was banned from driving for five years. 

Mr and Mrs McAloon had been enjoying a ride on their motorbikes on the unseasonably sunny day in November 2016.

A victim impact statement read to the court by the prosecutor on behalf of the family said that with her death 'a shadow passed over all of us - a light went out'.

They said she was a loving mother and wife who was excited about the future and was making plans after her successful cancer treatment.

In the aftermath of her death her husband had lost his home, his business, and 'almost his sanity'. 

Jim Davies, for Williams, said his client was extremely sorry for what had happened, and did not seek to make excuses.

Mr Davies described the events on the Pembrokeshire road as a 'miscalculation which had terrible consequences', and said the defendant did genuinely think she had driven carefully, which is why she pleaded not guilty and had gone to trial.

He added that Williams had said it would have been better if she had died in the accident rather than somebody else, and planned to never drive again.

Judge Geraint Walters said nothing anyone could say, and no sentence he could pass, could undo the hurt, anger, and grief Mrs McAloon's family were experiencing.

And he said the victim's husband would have to live with the 'horror' of the fact that he could do nothing to avoid his partner laying in the road in front of him.

The judge told Williams she had not set out to hurt anybody that day, but that she had driven without sufficient 'determination and purpose' - and there was a lesson in the tragic collision for all drivers.

He said: 'Sometimes driving too slowly and with a lack of determination and purpose can represent as much of a danger to other road users as driving with excess speed.

'As we get older, as we all do, when we take to the road there is a risk we will not react as quickly as once we would have done.

'We might not realise it, but for each of us our reactions slow - and therein lies the danger.

'This is a lesson for everybody as we get older. Thinking, reacting, takes a little longer - the cause of this accident was you being too cautious.'

Williams was sentenced to 12 months in prison suspended for two years, and was banned from driving for five years. 


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