A Cardiff driver has admitted causing a cyclist’s death by dangerous driving after he deliberately veered onto the wrong side of the road to scare his girlfriend while they were having an argument.
Wales Online reports that Paul Garrett was hit by Eurico Costa on the B4258 Pencisely Road in Llandaff, Cardiff, just before 1.50pm on October 6 last year.
Garrett suffered serious injuries and was taken to the University Hospital of Wales, but died later that day.
Witnesses described an “aggressive piece of driving” in which Costa swerved onto the wrong side of the road and mounted the pavement.
The court heard he had lost his temper during a row with his girlfriend, tearing down a sun visor and then deliberately veering across the road in a bid to scare her.
Stephen Harrington, who was driving in the opposite direction, said: “As [the car] came up the hill it swerved on to my side of the road. It was quite a violent swerve.
“All I can remember is [the car] speeding up and then a big bang. I remember something flying in the air.”
Police Sergeant Ben Davies also witnessed the collision. He said the car’s wheels spun and described Costa’s driving as “extremely aggressive”.
He said: “He hit the cyclist up into the air. It looked like about 10ft high.”
As Costa and his girlfriend got out of the car, witnesses said she screamed at him: "What have you done – oh my god what have you done?"
Costa told police the sun was in his eyes and he could “barely see”. He said he grabbed the sun visor, which came away in his hand, and before he knew what had happened he was on the wrong side of the road.
Forensic investigator PC Christopher Street said the sun would have been coming from the left and the prosecution argued the visor would not have been needed.
Costa pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving.
Judge Williams said: “The court deals too often with deaths needlessly caused on the roads. The terrible truth here is that you did this to scare your girlfriend or to force from her an answer to your grievances.
“You gave no thought to anyone else on the road, let alone anybody as vulnerable as Mr Garrett was. My sentence must reflect the vulnerability of cyclists.”
Costa was jailed for four-and-a-half years and banned from driving for five years.