THE latest episode of BBC’s The Crash Detectives reveals how an unlicensed and intoxicated driver was filmed on Snapchat drinking cider and smoking drugs at the wheel of a death trap car, moments before a head-on crash left his teenage friend dead and others seriously injured.
A Gwent Police officer who investigated the May 2022 Sunday lunchtime collision on the B4235 between Chepstow and Shirenewton said he had never seen such “complete and utter criminality”.
And the devastated mother of dead back seat passenger Dafydd Hughes has now appealed for people to report illegal drivers like Ricky Davies, who is currently serving eight years in jail for causing death by dangerous driving.
Dafydd, 18, had been to a dog show in Usk with Davies and other friends that morning, before the driver’s speeding and unroadworthy Ford Focus careered round a bend head-on into a Peugeot 5008 SUV.
Davies, now 31, had been on a weekend orgy of drugs and booze when he knocked on the door of Dafydd’s Abertysswg home.
“Dafydd, like most young boys, thought he was invincible, and made the wrong choice getting in the car that morning,” said mum-of-six Emma, 35.
“But it wasn’t Dafydd’s choice for Ricky to drink all day, to speed or be on the wrong side of the road. I’ll never forgive Ricky for driving that day and in the state he was in.”
Dafydd’s grandfather Dai “begged” his grandson not to go, but Emma said Dafydd “wouldn’t listen”. Within hours, he was dead.
“He was his own person, he was going out with his friends,” said Emma. “The fact we couldn’t stop him weighs on our hearts every day but there was no telling Dafydd. His bampy (grandad) couldn’t have done any more.”
Writing on the BBC Wales News website, Crash Detectives producer Jenny Casterton said neither Dafydd, nor any of his friends were wearing a seatbelt.
“Dafydd never ever wore a seatbelt,” admits his mum. “If he was wearing his seatbelt, Dafydd might have still been here.”
And she hopes someone will learn from her son losing his life, saying: “If one person could listen and not do what they were doing then their families won’t feel what we feel every day.
“I want young people to realise the damage that can be done, even if they’re not driving and in the car with somebody who hasn’t got a licence and is not responsible enough to be driving. Please don’t go with them.
“Don’t put your families through what we are going through. You’ve got your whole life in front of you and you shouldn’t waste it because in the blink of an eye everything can change.”
She added: “He didn’t experience having children, getting married, he lost out on so much.
“If you think someone is drink or drug-driving, call the police.
“Life is so precious, he didn’t deserve it. There’s a hole in my heart where Dafydd should be. We’ll never be the same again.”
Snapchat footage taken moments before the crash reveals a passenger shouting “we ain’t coming home” and another hanging his legs out of the window.
Davies, who Cardiff Crown Court heard was unlicensed and uninsured, dangerously overtook three cars before the crash, driving the death trap car aggressively and at speed on the bendy B roads,
At one point, a passenger was filmed telling him to slow down because he was “all over the road swaying from side to side”.
But he lost control speeding around a bend at 55mph, veering across into an oncoming Peugeot 5008 SUV with fatal consequences.
SUV driver Graham Leader, who was knocked out and sustained serious fractures to his back, told police he and his wife had “nowhere to go and had to brace for the collision”.
Watch the Gwent Police investigation on the latest episode of The Crash Detectives, now on BBC iPlayer.