A lorry driver who had more than three times the legal limit for cocaine in his system when he killed a cyclist has been jailed for three and a half years.
Joseph Large, aged 32, also tested positive for cannabis after running over 50-year-old Paul Thompson while driving his ship loader lorry in Wolverhampton in November 2018, reports the Express & Star.
He pulled out onto the road and hit Mr Thompson, claiming afterwards that the sun had been in his eyes, but a jury at Stoke Crown Court found him guilty of causing death by careless driving while under the influence of drugs.
He was also banned form driving for two years, with the judge telling him: “You had a duty of care whilst driving a vehicle of that size, especially to vulnerable road users.
“But you were complacent about your knowledge of the junction and this was an avoidable accident.”
The victim’s brother, Stephen Thompson, read a statement out to the court.
He said: “This tragedy has broken us all. My brother Paul had all his life in front of him. He was being made redundant. He worked out his finances.
“He had bought a new bike for his 50th birthday and made plans to go to Scotland and Europe. But his dreams will unfortunately never be realised.”
“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.
“But when I found out further details, this turned to anger. The selfish behaviour of this driver has ruined so many lives.”
PC David Crump, from the West Midlands Police serious collision investigation unit, said: “As a professional lorry driver, Large's driving should have been of the very highest standards.
“But he got behind the wheel of a 32-ton lorry having previously consumed cocaine and as a result of his actions Mr Thompson sadly lost his life.
“Our thoughts go out to Mr Thompson’s family at this difficult time.”
He added: “We would urge anyone to think twice before driving if they have had alcohol or taken drugs, as they can be putting the lives of other people in danger, as well as putting their own safety at risk.”
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.