A Derbyshire man has been jailed for 20 months after admitting causing the death of a cyclist by driving without due care and attention. Conner Lynch hit Maxx Church near a set of lights at the junction of Abbey Street and Mercian Way in Derby on October 28 last year.
The Derby Telegraph reports that 18-year-old Church was hit so hard by Lynch’s Audi A3 that he was flung 28 metres. Derby Crown Court heard that Lynch had been driving at 45mph in a 30mph zone in dark and wet conditions.
Judge John Burgess said: “It is a well-known fact that the chances of a pedestrian or cyclist surviving a collision at 30mph are far greater than the chances of surviving a collision at 40mph.”
Lynch did not stop after the collision, but instead drove on for 350 metres, dragging the bike which was caught beneath the car.
He eventually pulled over in Woods Lane, removed the bike and left it propped up against a wall before setting off again. He parked the car in a dead-end and then handed himself into police 90 minutes after the collision. Church died in the Royal Derby Hospital the following day.
Judge Burgess described it as “a sad fact” that Church had been riding a bike with no brakes and no light, had not been wearing a helmet and had ridden through a red light. Maxx’s mum, Nikki, expressed similar sentiments, but said she struggled to understand Lynch’s behaviour following the incident.
"He drove off and just left him there. I wouldn't even leave an animal in the road. I just don't understand that at all, and I never will.
“Maxx wasn't wearing a helmet and of course he should have been, but a car is a lethal weapon and he chose to put his foot down and speed. I don't know how anyone could carry on driving after that."
When claiming insurance, Lynch had given a false name and date of birth and said he had held a driving licence for nine or more years. Burgess felt that this too might have contributed to Lynch’s behaviour.
“This case arose because of what might initially have seemed, to those involved, as minor transgressions. It began when you, Conner Lynch, obtained cheap insurance for your car by pretending to be someone else and making yourself the named driver... the fact that you were aware your insurance was fraudulently obtained may well have had a bearing on your subsequent driving after the collision.”
Lynch admitted causing death by driving without due care and attention, dangerous driving and making a false statement to obtain insurance. As well as receiving a 20-month jail sentence, he was banned from driving for four years.