Luke Jones jailed for 100mph race which ended with death of Glynneath motorcyclist Glyndwr Evans
A DRIVER has been jailed for five years for killing a motorcyclist from Glynneath and another motorist during a high-speed road race.
Luke Jones, 24, was driving at up to 100 miles an hour on the Heads Of the Valleys road just seconds before the crash.
Cardiff Crown Court heard Jones was racing motorist Phillip Bath on a stretch of road with a speed limit of 50 mph.
Jones broke sharply and Mr Bath, 29, lost control of his car spinning into oncoming traffic.
He then crashed into motorcyclist Glyndwr Evans, 49, and both were killed in the "carnage" on the Brynmawr stretch of the A465.
Father-of-one Jones fled the scene and went drinking with a friend - he was later arrested at a nearby pub.
Proseuctor Nicholas Gareth Jones said: "The defendent and Phillip Bath came across each other when joining the road.
"Their vehicles are described as racing, overtaking one another, speeding and causing other cars to dodge and swerve out of the way.
"One witness described Mr Bath's car as skidding around like a Formula 1 car warming up its tyres.
"Another said it was an accident waiting to happen and that they were driving like lunatics.
"They were driving at excesive speed - up to 90 or 100 miles an hour - for a three mile stretch before the accident.
"The collison happened when Jones misjudged the speed of a car in front and was forced to break.
"Mr Bath couldn't stop, he slammed the breaks and spun into oncoming traffic colliding with a motorcycle."
Mr Bath, of Cwm, near Ebbw Vale, was rushed to University of Hospital of Wales, Cardiff, by air ambulance following the smash but never recovered from his injuries.
His yellow Peugeot had failed an MOT shortly before the crash and was described as being "not road worthy".
Mr Evans, of Glynneath, who used to work for the RAF, died instantly in the smash at midday on October 27 last year.
Another motorcyclist, David Cooper, 65, was treated at hospital for two and a half months following the crash and will never be well enough to ride a bike again.
Jones, of Clydach, near Abergaveny, originally told police the collision had "nothing to do with him".
But he later admitted two counts of causing death by dangerous driving - he said he was racing but claimed he was only doing 70 mph.
Caroline Rees, defending, said: "He had difficulty doing the right thing and pleading guilty.
"He was not the only cause of the accident - it's clear the driving of the other car was contributory."
Jones had previously been disqualified from driving for six months in 2008 when he was caught driving without insurance.
He was also disqualified for 12 months in 2010 for driving without insurance and without a proper licence.
He was sentenced to five years in prison and banned from driving for five years.
Judge Daniel Williams told him: "This was an outrageous piece of driving over quite a distance.
"You were racing each other and your driving was described as frightening.
"You were using the road like a race track at a time when there were a lot of cars on the road and you represented a serious danger.
"At the time you were the lead car and because of your speed you failed to brake in time and Mr Bath went out of control.
"I accept you are sorry but that would be of far greater weight if you had not left the scene of carnage which you caused.
"A number of other motorists stopped to help - there actions are as creditable as yours, in fleeing the scene, was uncreditable.
"During police enquiries you lied time after time about the circumstances of the accident and the manner of your driving.
"This offence is so serious that there can only be one sentence - that of immediate imprisonment.
"No sentence can possibly reconcile those who grieve the deaths of Mr Bath and Mr Evans or compensate Mr Cooper for what you have done to him.
"The court extends its condolences to all those touched by these terrible events."