A POLICE officer involved in a head on car crash that left a married couple seriously injured is facing the possible sack after being found guilty of careless driving.
Gwent officer PC Geraint York was off duty when he overtook another car while towing a caravan, driving onto the wrong side of the road straight into the vehicle of William Davies and his wife Farzeen Hashmi, who were travelling the other way from their north Herefordshire home to go shopping in Abergavenny before walking in the Brecon Beacons.
York, 45, of Llanover Road, Blaenavon, denied charges of dangerous and careless driving on the A465 between Abergavenny and Llantilio Pertholey on the morning of Saturday, October 9, 2021.
A jury at Cardiff Crown Court found him guilty of the lesser careless driving charge, and not guilty of causing serious injury by dangerous driving.
But Judge Paul Hobson told him after the verdict: "You and nobody else was to blame for this collision."
Jurors were shown dashcam footage of the crash, which happened around 11.25am, filmed from the back of the car being followed by York's Kia Sorento SUV and caravan.
It showed the lead vehicle slowing, but York's vehicle continuing at the same speed before suddenly pulling out from behind and smashing head on into the couple's Hyundai Getz car.
York told an officer at the scene of the crash, who was wearing a bodycam, that he had pulled out to avoid parked cars.
Mr Davies suffered a broken back, fractured ribs and a smashed left knee and needed surgery, while his wife, who was on the point of becoming a hospital consultant, also needed hospital treatment for injuries that included whiplash.
York’s barrister Nigel Fryer said his client had gone through a difficult divorce and might now lose his job with Gwent Police.
Judge Paul Hobson told the defendant: “One thing this demonstrates is the huge responsibility that we all have as drivers on the road.
“Inattention by a driver, even for a short period of time, can have devastating consequences. You and nobody else was to blame for this collision.
“I’m convinced you took your eyes off the road for a few seconds where a collision was unavoidable.
“You caused very serious injury to not one but two people.”
York was ordered to pay £1,200 in costs and a fine, and his driving record was endorsed with six penalty points.
A Gwent Police spokesperson said after the hearing: "We will review the outcome to assess whether any misconduct action is required.
"Our professional standards investigation is ongoing."
Mr Davies said his wife could have had her career destroyed, as she might not have been able to operate and help patients.