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Lorry driver who killed cyclist failed to give way and had cocaine in his system

Joseph Large was squinting into the sun when he pulled out of junction in refuse truck

A lorry driver who had cocaine in his system has been found guilty of causing the death of a Wolverhampton cyclist by careless driving. Joseph Large was squinting into bright sunlight when he hit Paul Thompson after failing to stop at a junction.

The Express and Star reports that Large was driving a 32-ton refuse lorry at around 2.30pm on November 26, 2018, when he pulled out of Hickman Avenue near East Park and hit Thompson, who was cycling along Culwick Street.

Thompson was crushed and pronounced dead at the scene.

PC Amy Carrington, who interviewed Large, said: "The defendant said he was coming from work and had pulled out of the junction and was squinting from the sunlight. He had not seen the cyclist because of this.

"The defendant stated he saw a shadow which caused him to brake. This is when he realised he had collided with a cyclist."

The prosecution said that the collision occurred because Large failed to give way.

Prosecuting, John O'Higgins, said: "An expert reconstruction has confirmed Mr Thompson was there to be seen for eight seconds before the collision.

“Apparently Mr Large told police, during an interview, that he stopped. He didn't – but turned into the road without stopping. It is that which caused the collision with Mr Thompson.”

Thompson was wearing a bright fluorescent yellow helmet and backpack.

O’Higgins said Large, “should have adequately looked around his mirrors if he couldn't see properly. He shouldn't have pulled out without taking a proper look to his left – particularly if the sun was preventing him from seeing clearly."

In a roadside test, Large tested positive for 158 micrograms of cocaine in his blood.

According to his brother, Thompson had been looking forward to early retirement having been made redundant.

"There was a time after the crash when I felt sorry for the driver and this was a tragic accident which the driver had to live with for the rest of his life,” he said.

"But when I found out further details, this turned to anger. The selfish behaviour of this driver has ruined so many lives."

Large was granted bail and will be sentenced at a later date.

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