A bus driver responsible for the tragic death of a woman in a collision has been jailed.
Jonathan Eaves, 25, of Preston, was sentenced to four years and eight months at York Crown Court.
On the morning of 26 January 2021, North Yorkshire Police were called to the scene of a collision on the A19, just south of Easingwold.
Eaves had been driving a Volvo bus, with no passengers on board, northbound, in the same direction as a cyclist. At the same time, an Audi car was approaching from the opposite direction, travelling southbound.
As the bus reached the cyclist, it swerved to the right, making contact with the very end of the cycle’s handlebar grip. The bus crossed the centre white lines, into the path of the oncoming car, driven by Saskia Bets, causing a collision and impacting with the driver-side door.
Saskia, 27, suffered serious injuries, and died in hospital the same day.
The cyclist had been wearing a hi-vis jacket, a rucksack displaying reflective stripes and his bike had a rear red flashing light illuminated. Specialist police collision investigators examined the scene, and determined that the cycle would have been visible to the bus driver for more than 30 seconds prior to the collision.
Eaves, of Preston, Lancashire, pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving on 5 December 2023.
In addition to a jail sentence of four years and eight months, he was disqualified from driving for six years and four months.
Following the sentencing hearing, DCI Jez Bartley, of North Yorkshire Police, said:
Eaves’ dangerous driving resulted in a tragic death, and it is right that he now has to face the consequence of his actions.
A thorough investigation has ensured that justice has been done, but no verdict can bring back Saskia, or undo the pain caused to her loved ones. I can only hope this case serves to reinforce the importance of driving safely and responsibly – something Eaves manifestly failed to do, with dreadful consequences.
In a statement, Saskia’s family said:
We respect and accept the verdict of the Judge made today, and are pleased that Jonathan Eaves will be imprisoned for this crime. No sentence time would have been long enough for the damage and pain Jonathan Eaves has caused our family. There is no punishment that would do justice to this death.
We as Saskia’s partner, sister and parents would like to thank everyone who responded to the incident after Jonathan Eaves drove his bus into her. Unfortunately their efforts could not save her life that day, but it demonstrates the goodness of mankind.