A WHITE van driver whose careless driving caused the deaths of two innocent women near Selby has been brought to justice almost two years later.

North Yorkshire Police said Samuel Balaam had been sentenced by York Magistrates to 20 weeks in custody, suspended for 12 months.

He was also 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.

A force spokesman said that at about 10.40pm on Wednesday August 30, 2017, Balaam's white Ford Transit van collided with a black Ford Fiesta on the A1041 Selby to Snaith road.

"The two women in the Fiesta, Halina Malinowska, 69, and Wilma Ryan, 63, both from Selby, suffered serious injuries," he said.

"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."

He said police established that Balaam, 29, from Dewsbury, was completely on the opposite side of the road when he collided head-on with Mrs Malinowska’s car, with evidence at the scene suggesting she had 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.

He was summoned to court on two charges of causing death by careless driving, and pleaded guilty last month to both offences and he was sentenced on Friday.

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."