Driver who caused deaths of two people on Suffolk road avoids jail
- Credit: Archant
A motorist whose "momentary period of careless driving” caused the death of two people in a head-on crash has avoided prison.
Rebecca Beswick was driving a blue Mini Cooper on the A134 at Alpheton, between Sudbury and Bury St Edmunds, on August 31, 2018, when she veered into the path of a gold BMW 325i.
The driver of the BMW, 69-year-old Bruno Delmonte, from Great Henny, near Sudbury, was airlifted to Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge, but died the following day from his injuries.
Mr Delmonte's front seat passenger, Regina Brook, known as Gina, 79, from Bures Hamlet, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Beswick, 39, was also injured in the crash and was subsequently diagnosed with traumatic amnesia - which meant she had no memory of the accident or events leading up to it.
Beswick had been travelling in the opposite direction to the BMW driven by Mr Delmonte and, instead of straightening up as she came round a right-hand bend, she had crossed the double white lines in the centre of the road into the path of the BMW.
Gareth Hughes, prosecuting, said Beswick’s Mini Cooper started to cross into the opposite lane 50m before the collision took place.
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Beswick was previously cleared of causing the deaths of Mr Delmonte and Mrs Brook by dangerous driving in December 2020 after two accident investigation experts agreed that the fatal head-on collision was caused by a “momentary period of careless driving”.
Experts agreed that the time taken for her Mini to cross the double white lines and hit the BMW was two seconds or less.
Beswick, of Out Northgate, Bury St Edmunds, had already pleaded guilty to two less serious charges of causing death by careless driving.
Mr Hughes told the court it was a route Beswick knew well, both the road surface and weather conditions were good.
The court heard there was no suggestion of speeding and analysis of Beswick's mobile phone revealed there had been no use at the time of the crash or in the moments leading up to it.
Mr Hughes said the impact of the crash on the victims' families had been "considerable".
Mrs Brook's daughter, Sarah Brook, a GP, read an emotional victim impact statement to the court, describing how the crash had affected her family.
Gordon Carse, for Beswick, said: "She will never forget her actions caused two deaths, it is something that she will, undoubtedly, require professional help for."
Mr Carse read a letter to the court written by Beswick, which said she was "forever sorry that this tragic day happened".
Sentencing Beswick on Wednesday, Judge Emma Peters said the impact on the victims' families has been "enormous" and the offences did cross the custody threshold.
But the judge chose to suspend the sentences, and Beswick received six months' imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, for each offence to run concurrently.
Beswick was also banned from driving for three years and her licence was endorsed with eight penalty points.