A young driver has been jailed for six months after killing a nurse in a car crash because she was distracted by her mobile phone.
Gemma Evans, 23, was cleared of causing death by dangerous driving but pleaded guilty to the lesser criminal offence of death by careless driving.
Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court heard it could not be proved whether Evans had been driving or stationary when she exchanged several text messages with friends while behind the wheel, which included her sending a “cheeky monkey emoji” just minutes before the crash along the A40 in Powys.
Evans swerved into the opposite carriageway being used by great-grandmother Diana Price, 58, who died from her injuries.
The auxiliary nurse had been driving to her home in Brecon on the morning of of December 9 2016 after caring for her elderly father in Swansea.
Prosecutor Tom Scapens said: “Evans was deeply and grossly engaged with her mobile phone while driving during that journey.
“The distraction of the mobile phone was an avoidable distraction.”
Mrs Price’s husband, Anthony Price, said in a victim impact statement he was “angry” his wife had been taken from their family.
He said: “I can’t forgive the fact she has been taken from us. I want justice for Diana.
“It’s hard not knowing why she was taken from us and I hope we get these answers.
“(Evans) has ruined the rest of our lives because of what she did.”
Evans was kept in hospital for several weeks after the crash, and when police eventually interviewed her she said she had no memory of what caused the collision.
Lucy Crowther, defending, described Evans as “devastated” and said she was “appalled” by her actions which led to the crash.
Ms Crowther said: “She is absolutely devastated by the effects of the loss of Mrs Price.
“She has apologised in a heartfelt way to the family which she hopes some day they will be able to accept.
“She is appalled at what happened and what she has done.”
Judge Patrick Curran QC told Evans: “The jury were not satisfied you were using the phone at the time of the accident.
“It’s possible the phone was next to you and lit up when someone responded to an earlier message of yours.
“But you were so distracted you went into the other carriageway and collided with another car.”
Evans, from Brecon, was sentenced to six months in jail.