The family of Saskia Bets revealed their heartache as bus driver Jonathan Eaves was jailed at York Crown Court for causing her death. 

Eaves showed no reaction as Saskia's family spoke of the years of anguish that they have suffered since the 27-year-old psychology masters graduate was killed in a crash caused by Eaves on January 26, 2021.

The court heard that he swerved into her path to avoid a cyclist he hadn’t seen despite the cyclist being clearly visible on a long straight road.

Eaves had a history of being distracted while driving, and driving with one or no hands on the wheel, the court heard.

Detective Chief Inspector Jez Bartley of North Yorkshire Police said: “No verdict can bring back Saskia, or undo the pain caused to her loved ones. I can only hope this case serves to reinforce the importance of driving safely and responsibly – something Eaves manifestly failed to do, with dreadful consequences.”

READ MORE: Jonathan Eaves jailed for causing the death of Saskia Bets

Judge Simon Hickey told York Crown Court of the head-on collision: “Of course (Saskia) had absolutely no chance, and of course she was absolutely blameless.”

Saskia’s sister Marika told Eaves that Saskia would never have the chance to have a family and have a happy life.

She said: “You get to live, to live her life and we are the ones that have a life sentence, not you. I want you to see the life you took.”

Her father Johan said: “Our lives changed from a happy family living a normal life to being in this ongoing nightmare.

"We cannot live a happy life without Saskia. You have taken happiness away from us.

“She could have given so much more from her kindness.

"Time cannot heal this wound. It cannot turn death into life."

The court heard the family had sat by her bedside in hospital as she died following the withdrawal of life support and had been unable to have Saskia’s last Christmas together or grieve properly together because of lockdown restrictions.

Marika said she had had to give up her driving job because of the mental trauma she suffered whenever she drove following Saskia’s death and her mental health had deteriorated to the point where she had to give up her new job.

Johan Beks said: “We cannot understand how he has been allowed to continue to be a professional driver, surely that should have put other members of the public at risk. This hurts us in an unimaginable way. “

He also said Eaves had not taken responsibility for what he had done and had given inconsistent accounts of what had happened.

Soheil Khan, prosecuting, told the court Eaves told police at the scene the cyclist wasn’t wearing reflective clothing.

But police had CCTV footage showing that the cyclist had reflective clothing on himself, reflective flashes on his rucksack, a flashing red rear light and was clearly visible.

The road was wide enough for Eaves’ bus to pass the cyclist without going into the other lane, said Mr Khan.

In a police interview, Eaves claimed his windscreen had been smeared with mud thrown up by three HGVs and the windscreen wipers didn’t work.

But, said Mr Khan, the CCTV only showed one HGV and Eaves had signed a document before leaving the bus depot saying the windscreen wipers were working. Another motorist had seen ice on the windscreen. The temperature was zero degrees centigrade and it had been dark.

Defence solicitor advocate Graham Parkin said in the immediate aftermath, Eaves could only conclude that the cyclist had not been wearing reflective clothing.

He accepted he should have stopped at a lay-by to clear the windscreen of dirt thrown by other vehicles on it.

In a statement issued through the police following the court case, Saskia’s family said: “We respect and accept the verdict of the judge made today, and are pleased that Jonathan Eaves will be imprisoned for this crime.

"No sentence time would have been long enough for the damage and pain Jonathan Eaves has caused our family. There is no punishment that would do justice to this death.

“We as Saskia’s partner, sister and parents would like to thank everyone who responded to the incident after Jonathan Eaves drove his bus into her.

"Unfortunately their efforts could not save her life that day, but it demonstrates the goodness of mankind.”