A DRIVER broke down in tears as he said there was “absolutely nothing” he could have done to prevent a fatal road crash with a pensioner.

Ex-McDonald’s manager Jonathan Regan is on trial accused of causing the death of pedestrian Pamela Blatchly by careless driving in Newport two years ago.

The defendant said he only had a “split-second” to react before his Volkswagen Fox hit the 77-year-old on the A48 in Castleton.

Mrs Blatchly, who had been crossing the dual carriageway after shopping at the Esso garage nearby, was pronounced dead at the scene.

South Wales Argus:

Pamela Blatchly had just been to the Esso garage nearby to buy a bottle of wine, milk and a newspaper

An emotional Regan sometimes sobbed as he gave evidence in his defence at Newport Crown Court.


When asked by his barrister Ieuan Bennett to tell the jury about his background, the defendant told them he had no previous convictions.

He revealed he had a clean licence and had driven on road trips in the USA and on the continent in Italy with no problem.

Regan said he had graduated from Aberystwyth University and was a former manager at McDonald’s in Newport Retail Park.

The court has heard he is now a train manager with Great Western Railway.

On the day of the fatal collision, September 24, 2019, Regan had been on his way to the Cardiff Golf Centre driving range to meet a friend.

He had been turning right, travelling from Newport, to take the filter lane towards Cefn Mably.

Regan said he saw Mrs Blatchly “scuttling” across the road.

He told the jury: “I have described her as oblivious or as a zombie.”

Mr Bennett asked him: “She didn’t realise you were there?”

Regan answered: “Absolutely. There was nothing I could have done to avoid colliding with her.”

He added: “It was a split-second decision. I saw someone and I broke.”

His barrister put it to him: “Did you do the best with the circumstances before you?”

The defendant replied: “Yes. Absolutely.”

He added: “I was driving like I did any other day. I think, ‘Could I have done anything to prevent it?’ I couldn’t have.”

The prosecution claim Regan was responsible for the crash because he wasn’t paying enough attention to the road.

When James Wilson, prosecuting, opened his case to the jury, he told them: “Mrs Blatchly suffered traumatic injuries and sadly died at the scene.

“The defendant said he had not seen her until he was 10 to 15 metres away from her.

“The prosecution’s case in a nutshell is that if he had been properly observing the road ahead, he would have seen Mrs Blatchly.”

Regan, of Myrtle Drive, Rogerstone, Newport, denies causing death by careless driving.

The trial before Judge Catherine Richards continues.