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"Cowardly" unlicensed driver who ran over cyclist, hid vehicle and lied to police sentenced to 22 months in prison

Aaron Rogers failed to stop after hitting and killing Ian Edwards, then hid his van and denied he was the driver after being arrested

An unlicensed driver who ran over a cyclist before fleeing the scene and attempting to hide his vehicle has been sentenced to 22 months in prison, alongside a two year and 11 month driving ban. 

23-year-old Aaron Rogers, from Whitchurch in Shropshire, killed 56-year-old Ian Edwards on the evening of July 21 2020 when he hit him with a Vauxhall Astra Van, reports the Shropshire Star

Although the details were not clear according to the prosecutor, Mr Edwards is said to have been drinking at the Bull & Dog pub in Whitchurch that evening, and left shortly after a couple he had been drinking with at around 11.30pm. The couple, Joanne Kemp and Robert Thorp, left on bikes, and Mr Edwards also cycled away from the pub to catch up with them. 

Rejoining the pair on the B5476, it was said that Mr Edwards hit the rear wheel of Ms Kemp's bike, which caused her to crash and him to fall into the road. 

Rogers' van then struck Mr Edwards, who died at the scene as a result of his injuries despite efforts to save him. The recorder described it as a "terrible coincidence" that Mr Edwards happened to fall into the road at the moment Rogers was driving illegally on the carriageway. 

The recorder said that after driving away from the scene, Rogers hid his vehicle for a number of days. He was arrested after police examinded CCTV, and initially denied he was driving; although the court heard that he told a friend soon after the incident that he had run a man over. 

The court also heard that unlicensed Rogers had been using a mobile phone that was on speaker on his lap shortly before he hit Mr Edwards, and that he was driving along the quiet B road to avoid being detected by police. 

The recorder said to Rogers: "For whatever reason Mr Edwards did not have lights on his bike or reflective clothing and when he left the pub at 11.30pm he was travelling on a fairly poorly lit road. As he was cycling home a series of extremely unfortunate and tragic events unfolded.

"He had a collision with another cyclist who had been in the Bull with him. It caused him to fall off and he was lying prone in the road.

"In a terrible coincidence you were also on this road.

"You told a friend because you knew it to be quiet and you were less likely to come into contact with the police, knowing you should not have been on the road at all.

"You car drove into and over Mr Edwards while he was on the floor. He died at the scene.

"Every effort was made to save him by a number of people, including obtaining a defibrillator. When I say every effort I mean by a number of people, your actions were in sharp contrast to those who tried to save him.

"You simply drove off. That was a despicable and cowardly thing to do."

Mitigating for Rogers, Paul Smith said: "He says if he could turn the clock back he would do it in a heartbeat.

"The deceased was not unknown to him, or the family, and he wants to say through me that he cannot imagine the pain they are feeling as a family.

"He has not stopped thinking about what happened since."

Rogers admitted to causing death by driving while uninsured and without licence, and failing to stop. His sentence of 22 months was made up of six months each for driving while uninsured and without licence, both running concurrently, four months for failing to stop, running concurrently, and 16 months running consecutively for the breach of a 21-month suspended sentence order. 

Unlicensed Rogers was also disqualified from driving for two years and 11 months.

Arriving at road.cc in 2017 via 220 Triathlon Magazine, Jack dipped his toe in most jobs on the site and over at eBikeTips before being named the new editor of road.cc in 2020, much to his surprise. His cycling life began during his students days, when he cobbled together a few hundred quid off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story) and bought his first road bike - a Trek 1.1 that was quickly relegated to winter steed, before it was sadly pinched a few years later. Creatively replacing it with a Trek 1.2, Jack mostly rides this bike around local cycle paths nowadays, but when he wants to get the racer out and be competitive his preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking - the latter being another long story.  

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