A drunk driver who crashed into a cyclist in Surrey, leaving him with horrific injuries, has been jailed for two years after being convicted of causing serious injury by dangerous driving and driving while over the legal limit for alcohol.
Seth Wheeler, aged 50 and from Dorking, was also banned from driving for four years when he appeared at Guildford Crown Court last Friday, and will have to take an extended retest should he wish to regain his licence once the ban finishes.
Surrey Police said that on 24 April this year, officers discovered the cyclist who lay injured after he had been hit by Wheeler in Blackbrook Road, Dorking.
Evidence at the scene as well as eyewitness accounts revealed that Wheeler had crashed into the victim from behind and left him seriously injured by the roadside.
The cyclist sustained what were described as “significant and life-changing injuries,” which included multiple fractures of his skull, broken ribs and a punctured lung.
He was initially treated at East Surrey Hospital before being transferred to St George’s Hospital in Tooting, South London as is now at home but, almost eight months on, is still recovering from his injuries.
Police said that due to the help of members of the public as well as officers attending the scene, Wheeler was arrested and discovered to be over the limit for alcohol.
They said that his vehicle had been seriously damaged prior to the crash, which meant that it was in a dangerous condition at the time of the collision with the cyclist.
The investigation was led by PC Nick Swann of Surrey Police’s Roads Policing Unit, who said: “While Wheeler is now in prison, nothing will make up for the impact of the serious injuries he inflicted on Mr Burchett has had.
“Wheeler’s actions have resulted in life-changing injuries to a hard-working and honest family man, and his recovery will continue for many years.
“Driving after consuming alcohol or drugs will not be tolerated in Surrey, and officers will always take a proactive approach to arresting offenders and putting them before the court,” he continued.
“I would like to thank the quick and decisive actions of the first responders and members of the public at the scene of the incident, along with all that have played their part in ensuring Wheeler was brought to justice for his reprehensible behaviour,” PC Swann added.
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.