Court hears how cyclist died as motorists sought to determine which of their cars was quicker

Two motorists whose high-speed race through Bradford at speeds of up to 80 miles an hour led to the death of a cyclist in September 2011 have each been jailed for four years at Bradford Crown Court.

Vitalijs Rozenbergs, originally from Latvia, had been riding to work on a night shift at an abattoir in Leeds when he was struck by an Audi RS3 driven by Mohammed Khan, aged 25, at 1.45am on the morning of 16 September 2011, reports Asianimage.co.uk.

Khan had been racing Shajah Rehman, aged 31, driving a Mercedes-Benz C63 AMG, as the pair sought to determine which car was quicker, with the cars travelling at twice the speed limit on Canal Road when the fatal collision took place.

Both motorists pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving, with Khan, who like Rehman and the victim lived in Bradford, also admitting the charge of driving while uninsured.

The collision, which CCTV footage revealed happened as the cars were racing side by side, resulted in Mr Rozenbergs being thrown 15 metres.

The court was told that he was wearing headphones and his bike was not equipped with lights, although it did have reflectors, but street lighting was good.

As Khan sought to avoid hitting the cyclist, his car hit Rehman’s Mercedes, which ran into the central reservation. Khan stayed at the scene to await the arrival of the emergency services, while Rehman fled but turned himself in the following day.

The court heard that automatic number plate recognition cameras revealed that earlier that evening, Khan had covered the 223 miles from Cardiff to Bradford at an average speed of 85 miles an hour.

Sentencing the pair, Judge Peter Benson said: “Racing is a seriously aggravating feature of this type of offence.”

He added: “As Mr Rozenbergs was cycling across you two were driving down racing each other and as a result you Mohammed Khan struck Mr Rozenbergs while he was on his bike throwing him into the air and causing catastrophic injuries from which he would have died almost immediately,”

Both were also banned from driving for four years, to be served after the end of their prison terms.

Following sentencing, Sergeant Garry Alderson from West Yorkshire Police’s Major Collision Enquiry Team commented: “For a few moments of thrill seeking, these two men have found themselves with a lifetime of regret, alongside a significant custodial sentence.

“Racing on West Yorkshire's roads is extremely dangerous and will not be tolerated. The consequences of which can end lives and ruin many more, as we have witnessed in this particular case.”

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.