A court has heard how a drug-driver who fled the scene of a crash that left a cyclist with fatal injuries later staged a fake collision to hide the damage to his vehicle.
After police stopped him following another crash two days later, Craig Howick, aged 38, claimed that damage to his Audi A4 car caused when he hit cyclist Alex Roberts, aged 47, had happened when he swerved into a hedge to avoid a badger.
Cardiff Crown Court heard today that Howick, from Caldicot, left Mr Roberts “bleeding like an animal” after he struck him from behind on the B4245 between Rogiet and Undy in Monmouthshire on 5 August last year, reports Wales Online.
The victim sustained multiple injuries to his abdomen as well as a hypoxic brain injury and died from a cardiac arrest six weeks later.
Howick was arrested after a separate crash two days later, but despite his excuse that his car had been damaged when he tried to avoid a badger, police established that he had been trying to cover up the crash that resulted in Mr Roberts’ death.
The motorist failed to stop at the scene and police were called at 7.07pm by a passer-by after Mr Roberts was found lying injured in a grass verge.
An off duty paramedic stopped to help him, and due to his critical condition he was taken to Royal Gwent Hospital in a police vehicle rather than wait for an ambulance, but died there from his injuries on 25 September 2019.
Police seized Howick’s car following another crash on 7 August. Officers had found window trim at the scene of the collision two days earlier, and discovered that similar trim was missing on his vehicle.
He was arrested on 9 August but claimed he had not been involved in a collision on 5 August, insisting that he had been sleeping that afternoon after “partying with two sex workers” and that he had taken cocaine.
He told officers that later that evening he had driven into a hedge while trying to avoid a badger, which he said had resulted in the damage to his car.
When interviewed by police for a third time, he confessed to having damaged his car on purpose, saying that when he saw police investigating the scene of the fatal crash, he felt “scared for himself,” and that he had not seen Mr Roberts before the collision because he was distracted through using his car radio.
Traces of cocaine were found in Howick’s system and he pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving as well as perverting the cause of justice, having earlier pleaded not guilty to the latter charge.
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.