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Man’s careless driving caused the death of two Selby women

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A man has been sentenced after his careless driving caused the death of two women near Selby.

At about 10.40pm on Wednesday 30 August 2017, a collision occurred on the A1041 Selby to Snaith road. It involved two vehicles – a white Ford Transit van, driven by Samuel Balaam, and a black Ford Fiesta.

The two women in the Fiesta, Halina Malinowska, 69, and Wilma Ryan, 63, both from Selby, suffered serious injuries. Sadly, they subsequently died in hospital as a result of the injuries they received in the collision. Balaam also suffered injuries that required hospital treatment.

North Yorkshire Police officers investigated the collision and established that Balaam was completely on the opposite side of the road when he collided head-on with Mrs Malinowska’s car. Evidence at the scene suggested she had even taken evasive action to avoid the collision by turning onto the nearside grass verge.

Balaam was interviewed twice by police but did not explain why he was on the ‘wrong’ side of the road on a straight road in good driving conditions. His vehicle was defect-free and he was not under the influence of drink or drugs.

Balaam, 29, from Dewsbury, was summoned to court on two charges of causing death by careless driving, and pleaded guilty on 18 April 2019 to both offences.

Today (17 May 2019), at York Magistrates Court, he was sentenced to 20 weeks in custody, suspended for 12 months. He was disqualified from driving for 12 months, given a community order to conduct 200 hours of unpaid work and a curfew between 8pm-6am for 12 weeks, and ordered to pay total costs of £200.

Inspector Jeremy Bartley, of North Yorkshire Police’s Roads Policing Group, said: “This was a road traffic collision that led to the tragic loss of two innocent lives, for which Samuel Balaam has admitted responsibility. This incident reinforces the need for drivers to provide their undivided attention and care when driving any vehicle at any time – treat it and those around you with respect.

“I would like to thank the families of the victims, who have had to endure a lengthy investigation in order to receive some solace, with the person responsible ultimately being brought to justice.”

Last modified: May 17, 2019