A Corby mechanic caused his wife’s death when he lost control of his car in damp conditions, a court heard.
John Jenkins, 65, was driving his Vauxhall Vectra on the A508 near Roade when he crashed into an oncoming car.
Yesterday (Friday) Northampton Crown Court heard Jenkins was driving with his wife Karen in the passenger seat at about 4pm on New Year’s Eve last year.
He lost control of his vehicle negotiating a bend and crossed into the opposing carriageway, where the passenger side of his vehicle collided with the front of an oncoming Mitsubishi Colt.
Mrs Jenkins was pronounced dead at the scene.
Collision investigator John Underwood said the crash occurred when the rear of Jenkins’ car lost adhesion with the road, causing it to oversteer.
Prosecuting, James Bide-Thomas said: “Mr Jenkins has then over-reacted to that, causing oversteer in the opposite direction, and lost control of his vehicle.
“With no evidence of mechanical defect, road surface defect or road obstructions, it is Mr Underwood’s opinion that the collision was caused by driver error on the part of Mr Jenkins.
“Specifically, he lost control of his vehicle by travelling too fast for the either the bend or the road conditions.”
Jenkins, of Fjord Walk, said he could not recall the collision.
He later pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving.
The incident has divided the Jenkins family with his daughter saying she couldn’t forgive her dad and his son believing he shouldn’t have been prosecuted.
The court also heard how the family in the Mitsubishi - a husband and wife and their eight-year-old son - suffered a range of serious injuries.
The woman had recently received a donated kidney from her husband and she suffered a serious injury to that kidney.
She underwent surgery, where she was unconcscious for two days.
She had 40 stitches in her abdomen, a stent in her kidney, suffered a fracture and she also developed sepsis in hospital.
The boy was in hospital for four days with a broken sternum, three broken ribs, laceration to his liver and large scalp wound.
His dad suffered a fracture and was discharged from hospital in a back brace.
Mitigating, Ian Bridge said Jenkins had suffered hugely since the crash.
He said: “He effectively lives in a prison of his own making.
“His formerly lovely and clean home is now a cold, empty box.”
He added that he was annoyed that he could not remember his last conversation with his wife.
He said: “He misses his wife more than anything in life.
“He can barely live with himself because he killed her and cannot remember how.”
Sentencing, Her Honour Judge Lucking said it was a particularly tragic case.
She said: “Nothing can bring Karen Jenkins back.
“No sentence I pass today will ever feel like it adequately reflects the loss of a mother, daughter and wife.
“There is no doubt that the consequences for you have been terrible.”
Jenkins was jailed for four months, suspended for two years.
He was also disqualified from driving for two years, ordered to take an extended re-test and made to pay £2,500 in costs.