A man who hit and killed a cyclist near Preston was found guilty of dangerous driving and jailed for two years at Liverpool Crown Court this week. Andrew Irish took a bend too quickly and collided with Daniel Richmond from Ormskirk who had been riding behind a friend on the opposite side of the road.
The collision took place shortly after 9.10am on Sunday April 13, 2014. Richmond was riding along Runshaw Lane, Euxton, about three miles south of Preston across a bridge over the M6 when he was hit by Irish’s Audi Quattro with such force that part of the bike was sent over the bridge onto the motorway below.
The Southport Visiter reports that 38-year-old Irish stopped immediately after the collision and rang the ambulance services and told them he had “skidded on the corner and hit a cyclist coming the other way.” Richmond was pronounced dead at 9.40am from multiple injuries.
Irish had bought the car for £12,850 a week earlier. Under cross-examination, he denied that he had been trying to see how fast it would go. He said that a blue Astra had been close behind him and had made him feel pushed.
Judge Aubrey accepted his driving had been compromised by the car behind.
“It was being driven at an inappropriate speed and very close to your vehicle and that caused your distraction and failure thereafter to manage your speed accordingly. The accident arose from your failure to negotiate that bend because you were driving too fast and lost control of your vehicle.”
Aubrey also pointed out that the incident took place at an accident blackspot where chevron signs had not been replaced following damage resulting from an earlier incident.
Irish had been travelling at about 52mph on a road with a 60mph limit and said he had not seen the red warning bars and ‘slow’ written on the road. A police expert estimated the safe speed for negotiating the bend was no more than 30mph.
Irish is being treated for post-traumatic stress disorder and depression. Aubrey said: “I am satisfied you are a broken man. You are described by a psychiatrist as having severe thoughts of guilt and express self-hatred towards yourself.”
Irish had admitted causing death by careless driving but denied that it had been dangerous. However, the jury convicted him of the more serious offence and Judge David Aubrey, QC, said that only an immediate prison sentence could be imposed. Irish, who has no previous convictions, was also banned from driving for three years.