A WIDOW spoke of her family’s ‘pain and anguish’ after the death of her husband at the hands of a dangerous van driver.

Killer driver Aron Hicks broke down in tears in the dock as he heard victim Brian Hunt’s wife and two sons’ impact statements read to Oxford Crown Court on Monday.

Mr Hunt, 78, from Didcot, was behind the wheel of his Honda Civic on the A417 near Cholsey when his car was struck head-on by 28-year-old Hicks’ white van. The pensioner was taken to hospital but died later that day.

Oxford Mail: Aron Hicks Picture: TVPAron Hicks Picture: TVP

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Susan Hunt, who had been married to victim Brian for 54 years, said: “Words cannot express the pain and anguish that family, our friends and I have endured since the death of my husband Brian.

“He did not deserve to die in this way. Aron Hicks took my husband’s life. He will never understand the effect he’s had on our family. It is unimaginable and unpardonable.”

Son Stuart, who runs a garage in Harwell, said in his statement that it felt as if the ‘heart of the family has been literally ripped out’. His brother, Stephen, said directly to his father’s killer: “You took my dad away from not just me that day, but my whole family and our friends far too early. He had a life to live.”

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In his own letter to his victim’s family, Hicks said: “I know that no amount of apologies or condolences can make this situation any better for you all. I can only begin to imagine the depth of your shock and grief. Knowing that my actions have caused this pain will be my life’s biggest regret.”

Earlier, prosecutor Andrew Jordan told a packed courtroom that Hicks was behind the wheel of his white van and on the way to work when, at around 8am on May 4 last year, he overtook one car on the A417 near Cholsey before trying to overtake a second.

Hicks, who may have been over the 50mph speed limit, pulled onto the opposite side of the road as he approached the crest of a hill. He was unable to see Mr Hunt’s Honda Civic until too late, hitting it head-on. A dashcam in another vehicle captured the shocking moment.

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The court heard that there was no reason for Hicks to have made the dangerous manoeuvre. The painter and decorator was on his way to work but was in no rush. He suggested to the probation officer who wrote a pre-sentence report that he was ‘showing off’, although as he was alone in his van it was unclear to whom he was doing so.

Jailing him for three years and four months, Judge Ian Pringle QC told the driver: “Mr Hunt received devastating injuries which despite the efforts of the hospital he could not be saved and he died shortly afterwards. His death is your responsibility.”

Hicks, of Mytchett Road, Camberley, pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving. He was banned from the roads for three years and eight months and must pass an extended retest.

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This story was written by Tom Seaward. He joined the team in 2021 as Oxfordshire's court and crime reporter.  

To get in touch with him email: Tom.Seaward@newsquest.co.uk

Follow him on Twitter: @t_seaward