Driver guilty of causing death of Bedford woman in road collision

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A Bedford man whose wife died when her car was struck from behind by a HGV as she waited in traffic has spoken of his relief after the HGV driver was found guilty of causing death by dangerous driving.

Ayse Yalcinkaya, 35, died on July 29, 2015 when her car was struck as she waited to leave the M1 at Junction 14 by a HGV driven by Clinton Dunkley, an employee of Alexander Prestige Haulage.

Dunkley pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving, but after a trial in Aylesbury Crown Court, he was found guilty by a jury of the more serious charge of causing death by dangerous driving and sentenced to three years in prison.

Ayse, a mechanical engineer who was a project manager with Network Rail, married her husband Tom Harris, 45, just under a year before her death.

Tom said that while the criminal proceedings following the crash have now concluded, nothing will lessen the pain and devastation suffered by him, his family, Ayse’s family and her friends.

He also called for his wife’s death to lead to important lessons concerning road safety.

He instructed lawyers at Irwin Mitchell’s Cambridge office to investigate the circumstances of the crash and they are now supporting him through the legal proceedings.

Ruth Booy, an expert road accident lawyer at Irwin Mitchell, who is representing Tom, said: “While the time since Ayse’s death has understandably been extremely difficult for Tom and Ayse’s family to endure, they are comforted by the knowledge that the criminal process is over and the driver who caused Ayse’s death has been found guilty.

“Road safety is a cause we are passionate about and this tragic incident illustrates how important it is for road users to consider the safety of all of those around them. A momentary lapse in concentration can lead to accidents which often have terrible consequences for those involved and their families.

“We hope this incident will act as a reminder of the responsibility road users have for not only their own safety, but the safety of others.”

Tom said: “The time since Ayse’s death has been devastating for me and her family.

“I lost my wife that day all because of dangerous driving by somebody else. The time we got to spend together and the love that we shared was so special that she will forever live in our thoughts, our memories, and most importantly our hearts.

“Ayse was an accomplished person, a great friend, a loving wife and daughter, and is greatly missed by all those that knew her.

“The trial has been extremely traumatic for me and for all of Ayse’s family but we can try to find some solace now that the trial has concluded and the person responsible for Ayse’s death has been held to account.

“Nothing will bring Ayse back but we hope this tragedy will encourage all drivers to think carefully about their actions on the road to ensure this kind of thing doesn’t happen to another family.”