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Taxi driver who fell asleep at wheel jailed for killing cyclist

Jack Berry lost his life when Craig Gough crashed into him and two friends last October

A taxi driver who crashed into three cyclists after he fell asleep at the wheel, killing one and seriously injuring the other two, has been jailed for three years, reports Wales Online.

Craig Gough, aged 36, pleaded guilty at Cardiff Crown Court last month to causing the death by dangerous driving of Jack Berry, 26, in October last year.

The court was told that Gough was on his way home after a 13-hour night shift when the fatal collision happened near Cowbridge shortly after 7am on the morning of 28 October 2017.

Mr Berry, a former soldier who had become a chef after leaving the army, had been saving to open his own pub.

He was out for a ride with his employer Andrew Hooker and a friend, Matthew Simmonds, both of whom needed hospital treatment for their injuries.

The trio had been riding in single file with Mr Berry at the rear when Gough struck them. The driver did not stop immediately but instead continued to the brow of the hill before turning his vehicle around and returning to the scene.

The prosecution said that the three cyclists would have been visible to Gough for 15 seconds before he crashed into them but he made no attempt to slow down or alter his steering.

Kelly Huggins, prosecuting, said: “The witness accounts from other motorists clearly showed that the cyclists had appropriate lighting, reflective clothing and safety equipment.

“They were experienced cyclists who had taken proper measures to be safe but those measures were not enough.

“Gough’s loss of concentration while behind the wheel had tragic consequences.

”We hope that the injured cyclists make a full recovery and our thoughts are with the family and friends of Mr Berry.”

Sentencing Gough, Judge Eleri Rees said: “No sentence passed by this court can reflect the loss of life or lessen the grief of those who have lost a loved one in such a manner.”

She added: “These were experienced and well-equipped, careful cyclists. The obvious conclusion from all the evidence is that you did indeed fall asleep.”

The money Mr Gough had been saving to start his own business is now being used, together with funds raised by family and friends following his death, to open a school in his memory in his wife’s home village in her native country, Fiji.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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