BREAKING: Mini-bus driver sentenced following death of Leeds Student

Mini-bus driver James Johnson was sentenced today to six years and eight months in prison, after causing the death of University of Leeds student Bethany Jones in a motorway accident last year.

First-year nursing student Jones was travelling on the mini-bus as part of a hen-night, when it collided with a lorry on the M62 near Pontefract. She died from her injuries.

The mini-bus was shunted 45m off the carriageway and ended up on its side on the slip road, also causing serious injury to the 19 other female passengers.

It also emerged  at Leeds Crown Court today, that Johnson had deemed himself fit enough to drive on the day of the accident, despite suffering from two ‘mini-strokes’ in recent years. One of which had struck the 64-year-old while he was driving a mini-bus on the M62 only two years previously.

Johnson had already pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving, after lorry-driver Kevin Ollerhead was cleared of all charges in September.

After sentencing Judge Guy Kearl QC told Johnson: “Your passengers were 20 females aged between 18 and 59 years. They were going on a night out, a hen night. They were mothers, daughters, sisters and friends. Each of them had put themselves in your hands to carry them safely to their destination. They trusted you with their lives.”

Greg Whitaker

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