THE sister of a motorcyclist who was killed in a crash in Conwy has spoken of her heartache following the September 2021 incident.

Experienced motorcyclist Jason Bown was 52 when he was fatally injured on September 7, 2021 when his Harley Davidson was involved in a crash on the A5 near Rhydlanfair.

In January 2023, Jonathon Godfree, 63, of Canada Way, Liphook, Hampshire, was sentenced to 16 months’ imprisonment and was disqualified from driving for two years and eight months after pleading guilty to causing death by dangerous driving.


Jail for biker who caused death by dangerous driving near Betws-y-Coed

North Wales Pioneer: Jonathon GodfreeJonathon Godfree (Image: North Wales Police)

Mr Bown’s sister, Rachael Rawson, who lives in Baslow, Derbyshire, has now spoken of her grief and to show her support for North Wales Police’ Op Darwen road safety campaign.

Rachael said: “Jason was a wonderful brother. I couldn’t have asked for anybody better. He was always there for me, through everything.

“On the day of the collision, a lady police officer walked up the drive and spoke to my mum.

“So, she phoned me and explained that she had a police lady with her and she wanted to know what tattoos Jason had got. I knew instantly - I knew straight away that he’d died.”

Mr Bown was travelling on the A5 when Godfree, also riding a motorcycle, crashed head-on with his motorbike after attempting to overtake two vehicles on a blind bend.

He was pronounced dead at the scene, while Godfree was seriously injured and was taken to hospital by ambulance.

Rachael added: “For me, it was my brother, but for my mum it was her son, her child. And knowing that I couldn’t do anything to help my mum, it was so hard.

“I don’t think people realise how much it affects people. Not just us as a family, but the people who witnessed it, friends, family - everybody.

“You see things on television and think: 'Oh, how awful', but when it happens to you, to you as a family, it tears you apart. It destroys you.

“If I can save one family from going through what we’ve gone through as a family, if I can save that one family going through this heartache which affects you physically and mentally, I feel like I’ve done some good and saved one family.

“Ride your bike, enjoy it, but think of other people out there and go home to your loved ones. Don’t put your family through what we’ve been through.”

As part of the annual Op Darwen road safety campaign – which is aimed at reducing the risk of motorcycle-related deaths and serious injuries on the roads, Rachael has taken part in a short film which has been produced to help raise awareness of the initiative.

The campaign runs from early spring through until the autumn, covering a period that sees the highest number of motorcyclists killed or seriously injured.

It is aimed at promoting rider safety and will see high visibility patrols being carried out along key routes which have been identified as risk areas.

In 2023, 89 motorcyclists were killed or seriously injured in North Wales, a 3.4 per cent increase from the previous year.

The total number of motorcyclist fatalities in 2023 was eight, an increase of 33 per cent from the previous year.

Sergeant Jason Diamond, operational lead for Op Darwen, added: “Understandably, the last few years and trying to come to terms with what happened have been particularly difficult for Rachael and her family, and we are extremely grateful to have their support for our campaign.

“Sadly, we see far too many deaths on the roads. It’s important to be thinking about coming home as the biker, but we need to share the roads out there and not cause anybody else’s loss.

“We’re not trying to stop motorcyclists from riding on the roads, we’re trying to stop them from dying on them. Come here – ride safe, go home and repeat.

“Come here, ride dangerously, lose your licence – or your life. It’s your choice.”