Monday, 4 Jul 2022

Van driver 'showing off to nobody' when he killed pensioner in head-on crash

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This is the moment a pensioner was killed in a head-on crash with a white van man who was ‘showing off’ by veering lanes to pass other vehicles.

Aron Hicks, 28, was overtaking ‘for no reason’ when he smashed into Brian Hunt, 78, who died shortly the collision during the morning rush hour on the A417 near Cholsey, Oxfordshire, on May 4 last year.

Prosecutor Andrew Jordan told Oxford Crown Court Hicks was on his way to work but was in no rush. He overtook one car before trying to overtake a second.

Hicks, who may have also been over the 50mph speed limit, pulled to the opposite side of the road as he approached the crest of the hill. He didn’t see Mr Hunt’s Honda Civic, hitting it head-on.

Hicks told his probation officer he was ‘showing off’ even though he was alone in his van.

Brian’s widow Susan Hunt, who had been married to him for 54 years, said: ‘Words cannot express the pain and anguish that family, our friends and I have endured since the death of my husband Brian.

‘He did not deserve to die in this way. Aron Hicks took my husband’s life. He will never understand the effect he’s had on our family. It is unimaginable and unpardonable.’

Brian’s son Stuart said in his statement that it felt as if the ‘heart of the family has been literally ripped out’.

His brother Stephen said directly to his father’s killer: ‘You took my dad away from not just me that day, but my whole family and our friends far too early. He had a life to live.’

In his own letter to his victim’s family, Hicks said: ‘I know that no amount of apologies or condolences can make this situation any better for you all.

‘I can only begin to imagine the depth of your shock and grief.

‘Knowing that my actions have caused this pain will be my life’s biggest regret.’

The court heard there was no reason for Hicks to have made the dangerous manoeuvre.

The painter and decorator was on his way to work but was in no rush.

Hicks, from Camberley, pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving and was jailed for three years and four months.

He was banned from the roads for three years and eight months and must pass an extended retest.

Jailing him, Judge Ian Pringle QC told the driver: ‘Mr Hunt received devastating injuries which despite the efforts of the hospital he could not be saved and he died shortly afterwards.

‘His death is your responsibility.’

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