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Letterston pensioner ’caused death and injury’

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swansea crown courtAN 88-YEAR-OLD motorist turned into the path of a motorcyclist causing death and injury, a jury heard on Monday (Dec 15).

Arthur Edwin Hunter, of Gurndifog, Letterston, denies causing the death of Benjamin Bowen by careless driving on the A40 in February last year.

A jury at Swansea Crown Court heard how Hunter had been driving home along the A40 when he signalled to turn right down a lane leading towards his home.

Dyfed Thomas, prosecuting, said two motorcycles were heading in the opposite direction.

Hunter, he said, allowed the first to pass but turned his Ford Focus into the path of the second bike, ridden by 25 year old Mr Bowen.

Mr Bowen’s red motorbike fell on its side and he slid into the front of a Peugeot 308 driven by Julie McAdam, an agent for Hockey Wales and head coach of the Fishguard and Goodwick team.

Mr Bowen suffered fatal injuries and was declared dead at the scene.

Miss McAdam told the court how the bonnet of her car flipped up and her car filled with smoke. She suffered a broken arm and wrist and needed operations on her back, knee and thumb.

Miss McAdam said she had been driving behind Hunter’s Focus on a dry and clear day.

She saw Hunter waiting to turn right, and the approaching motorbikes.

“I could see he was an old driver and I hung back. I was going to turn right as well.

“I saw the first motorbike pass by and the second approaching. I thought ‘he isn’t going to turn, is he?’ because there was enough room,” she said.

“There was a collision. The motorcyclist tried his best to stay upright but fell onto his side and slid into me. I closed my eyes.”

Miss Adam described how Hunter not only pulled in front of Mr Bowen but drove slowly across the oncoming lane “as if he had all the time in the world.”

Cross examined by James Jenkins, the barrister representing Hunter, Miss McAdam agreed she had told the police that Mr Bowen’s motorbike had been about 20 metres behind the one in front, but now put the distance at about 40 metres.

She said she had been under pressure from the police to estimate a distance but had since undergone counselling, using a “rewind technique.”

She said she now estimated the distance at about half a hockey pitch, or about 40 metres.

Miss McAdam said Mr Bowen had not been speeding.

Mr Thomas told the jury that, given the angle that Hunter took to enter the lane, he may have been “cutting a corner, which might suggest he knew he had to go quickly.”

The trial is expected to end later this week.

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Covid-19 vaccination venues and timeline announced for everyone locally over 50

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EVERY person in JCVI priority groups 5 to 9 will be offered a COVID-19 vaccination by 18 April, Hywel Dda University Health Board has confirmed.

While the health board’s vaccination programme has the capacity to offer a vaccine to everyone in groups 5 to 9 by the original target date of 4 April, the delivery plan has had to be adjusted based on confirmed vaccine deliveries.

Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, and Pembrokeshire residents in priority groups 5 to 9 can expect to receive their vaccine as follows:

  • Group 5, people aged 65 – 69 years – delivered by GP practices between 15 February and 12 March
  • Group 6, people aged 16 years to 64 years with underlying health conditions and unpaid carers – delivered by GP practices between 22 February and 4 April
  • Group 7, people aged 60 – 64 years – delivered by mass vaccination centres starting 8 March
  • Group 8, people aged 55 – 59 years – delivered by mass vaccination centres starting 22 March
  • Group 9, people aged 50 – 54 years – delivered by mass vaccination centres starting 5 April

The health board currently has mass vaccination centres located in Aberystwyth, Cardigan, Haverfordwest, Tenby, Carmarthen and Llanelli.

Group 6 is significantly the largest cohort to be vaccinated to date and we understand that many in this group will be anxious to receive a vaccine. Please do not contact your GP or the health board to ask about your appointment, you will be contacted directly when it is your turn and we thank you for your patience.

People in groups 7, 8 and 9 will receive a letter with an appointment date and time. Please arrive as close to your appointment time as possible. The letter will include a phone number to contact the health board should you need to rearrange or cancel your appointment but please make every effort to keep your allocated appointment time.

Steve Moore, Chief Executive of Hywel Dda UHB, said: “While  our programme has had to slow  due to supplies, we want to reassure everyone in groups 5 to 9 that our amazing teams of vaccinators and GP practices have the capability and flexibility to deliver our vaccine supplies as they arrive into the region.

“Vaccine supplies will start to increase again from mid-March, and we are confident that everyone living in our three counties in the top 9 priority groups will be offered a vaccine by mid-April.

“In Hywel Dda we have an older population compared to some other health boards and so over 50% of our adult population will have been offered a vaccine by milestone 2.

“To be able to say that as we approach the anniversary of the first national lockdown is nothing short of extraordinary.

“And again, I must say thank you to everyone living in our three counties who continue to come forward in substantial numbers for the vaccine. Uptake remains remarkably high and we hope to see this continue through groups 5 to 9 and into group 10.”

People are asked, wherever possible, to use their own private transport to attend an appointment. Lifts can be accepted from someone in their household or support bubble, but not from anyone else due to the risk of transmission of the virus.

The health board has put in place transport support for anyone who may have difficulty attending their vaccination appointment. If you have no other means of travel, please contact the health board on 0300 303 8322 and we will be happy to assist.

Everyone in priority groups 1 to 4 should have received an offer of a vaccination. If you have not been contacted, or have changed your mind, please contact your GP at the earliest opportunity. No one will be left behind.

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Nolton Haven: Man hospitalised after getting into difficulties in sea

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A MAN was taken to hospital after getting into difficulties in the sea off Nolton Haven on Friday.

Emergency services were alerted at 2.40pm on February 26 by a 999 call to the control centre.

The Little Haven RNLI lifeboat, Broad Haven Coastguard, an ambulance crew and a Coastguard rescue helicopter assisted police in the operation.

The male casualty was stabilised on the beach and shortly before 4.30pm, was then transported to Withybush Hospital.

A police spokesman told The Herald: “We were called to a male who had got into difficulties in the water at Nolton Haven shortly before 3pm.

“He was taken to hospital by ambulance.”

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Cyclist killed on A40 was serving police officer, force confirms

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A CYCLIST who died after a crash with a van on the A40 in Carmarthenshire was a serving police officer with Dyfed-Powys Police, the force has confirmed in a statement to Herald.Wales.

The driver of the van involved in the crash, which happened on Thursday (Feb 25) has been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving, it was confirmed on Friday (Feb 26).

Police are investigating the fatal collision, which caused the road to be closed for 12 hours, and are asking for any witnesses to come forward by calling 101.

37-year-old Lynwen Thomas, who is a former student at Ysgol Bro Myrddin, Croes-y-Ceiliog, Carmarthen, was a sergeant and a very well-respected member of Dyfed-Powys Police.

A spokesperson for the police said in a statement: “Our thoughts are with her family, friends and colleagues, who have all been offered specialist support. We ask that family members are given the privacy they need at this difficult time.”

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