A DRIVER who admitted causing the death of a paramedic has been jailed for four years.

Jonathan Hill, 22, of Pickering, originally pleaded not guilty to causing the death by dangerous driving of 39-year-old Timothy John Wiley, but changed his plea to guilty before his trial started at York Crown Court.

The crash happened on the A170, near Kirkbymoorside, at about 8.50pm on March 10, last year, as Mr Wiley was driving towards the village.

The court heard how the Vauxhall Vectra driven by Hill swerved into the opposite lane of the road and collided with Mr Wiley’s Audi A4.

The Recorder of York, Judge Stephen Ashurst, said the speedometer and rev counter of the Vectra had frozen during the incident at 78mph and 2,900rpm. Marks on the pedals also suggested Hill’s foot had been on the accelerator and not the brake at the point of impact.

Judge Ashurst also quoted witnesses who said Hill had been driving “far too fast, faster than I have ever seen anyone take that corner”, and “flooring it, foot down on the throttle”, just before the incident.

The court heard Hill, who was 21 at the time of the collision, had held a clean driving licence since 2005, but had consumed alcohol on the night of the crash, and was driving “aggressively” and above the speed limit.

John Thackray, for Hill, said his client was not wearing a seatbelt prior to the collision.

He had spent “a significant period in intensive care” after the crash, and had no recollection of the incident.

Mr Wiley, of Kirkbymoorside, who was a paramedic with the Yorkshire Ambulance Service, and was engaged to be married to his girlfriend, Gemma Westmoreland, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Judge Ashurst said: “Mr Wiley could do nothing to avoid the collision. He lost his life almost, and mercifully, immediately.

“The work of the paramedics that day must have been incredibly difficult, as two of Mr Wiley’s former colleagues had to attend the scene.

“Alcohol levels indicate that you were in all probability just over or just under the legal limit for drink-driving. That, coupled with the aggressive driving, does prove an aggravating feature in this case.”

Hill, of Old Farm Close, Pickering, was sentenced to four years in prison, was given a five-year driving ban, and told he must take an extended driving test before being allowed back on the road.

Sentencing, Judge Ashurst said: “The value of Timothy Wiley’s life cannot be measured by a prison sentence; you must have on your conscience for ever more the fact that you caused this death.”