Posted: Mon 11th Apr 2016

Jail For Driver Who Caused Death By Dangerous Driving /
This article is old - Published: Monday, Apr 11th, 2016

North Wales Police have released dash cam footage which shows the moment a van collides with another vehicle which killed one person and seriously injured another. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The footage has been released after the driver was today (Monday 11th April) sentenced to three and a half years imprisonment for causing the death by dangerous driving of 37-year-old Daren Phillip Longden of Rawdon, Leeds. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​


Nicholas Clough, 36, of Bromborough pleaded guilty last month, following the collision which occurred on the A55 at St George on March 10th 2015. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

He was sentenced at Caernarfon Crown Court, where he was also disqualified from driving for two and a half years and ordered to take an extended driving test. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Mr Clough was driving a Volvo Rigid LGV on the A55 westbound at St George when he collided with a Ford Transit which had slowed down due to the approaching roadworks. Sadly, Mr Longden was pronounced dead at the scene of the collision. The driver of the Ford Transit was left with serious injuries. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Investigating Officer, PC Arwyn Phillips of North Wales Police’ Roads Policing Unit said: “We have issued the footage, with the agreement of the families of those affected by the tragedy, as a warning to drivers to pay attention when behind the wheel. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“Mr Clough’s dangerous driving has cost the life of another man and devastated a family in the space of a few seconds. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“We know that Mr Clough had used his mobile phone and satellite navigation which took his attention away from the road. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“All of this could have been avoided if he had paid attention to the warning signs which were in place to highlight the oncoming roadworks. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“Mr Longden’s family have been left without a husband and son, and the family of the driver from the Ford Transit have had to pick up the pieces and cope with his serious injuries. The family of Mr Clough have also had their lives changed forever by what happened on that day. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“This just shows that not paying attention when behind the wheel of any vehicle can have tragic consequences. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“I hope the sentence handed down by the court sends a stark warning to anyone who takes irresponsible and dangerous risks on the roads – it is simply not worth it. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

He added: “Although nothing can compensate Mr Longden’s family for their loss, I hope the conclusion of the legal proceedings at court brings them some closure. Our thoughts remain with them at this time.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Statement from Lois Longden, the widow of Mr Daren Longden: ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

I met Daren in 2003 and we got engaged in 2007. We then moved in together in 2012 to the property where I am now living alone. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

We finally decided to get married in 2013 and it was the happiest day of our lives. Our married life was only just beginning and now I feel that my life is shattered. All the dreams we had and all the plans we had made for the future have gone. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

We were planning on starting a family this year too. That is something that will never happen now. That piece of my life has been taken away by a person I don’t even know. I feel like someone took away not only my husband but my best friend. We did everything together. We told each other everything. We really loved just being with each other. It’s hard to think of a time when he wasn’t part of me. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Daren was a very caring, thoughtful and loving husband and loved spending time with his family. We had a great circle of friends whom we socialised with every week. We went on many holidays together and with friends and family. At least I have those memories which I cherish. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Some days I feel angry and go through the what ifs. What if I’d said no to him working away, what if they’d set off earlier or taken a different route. I constantly think about that day. If only I could turn the clock backwards. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Most days I just feel lost and alone and think he will still walk through the door with his great big smile. Half of me is gone and I couldn’t stop it from happening. I get anxious with every phone call worrying it’s going to be bad news. Every time someone I know travels anywhere I panic they won’t come back. I just want back what was taken away from me. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

I feel vulnerable, scared and lonely. My day to day living is just by taking one step at a time and trying my best to get through each day as it comes. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Getting back to work was hard as I work from home and struggled to be in the home we once shared together without Daren. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

I just want to know that the person who took him away, not only from me but everyone who loved him, knows what they’ve done and how much they have taken away from us. Life will never be the same for me, his son Daniel, nor any of the other family members and friends. Driving safely is enough of a challenge as it is. Any vehicle can be a lethal weapon. Trying to multi-task like Mr Clough was doing that morning has turned my world upside down. The footage clearly shows that he was not concentrating at all on the road ahead. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

To anyone reading this, please take a moment to think how easy it is to kill an innocent person with your actions behind the wheel of a vehicle. Is taking that telephone call or changing things on our sat nav that important? ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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