A motorist has been branded “callous” and “a danger to other road users” by a judge, after he close passed a cyclist and deliberately slammed on his brakes twice, causing the rider to smash into the back of his vehicle, before leaving his victim lying in the middle of the road with a broken pelvis.
Michael Evers, who was driving whilst disqualified and uninsured at the time of the shocking road rage incident on 1 April 2022, was sentenced this week to 21 months in prison and banned from driving for two years upon his release, the Northern Echo reports.
Evers was driving on Parkside in Darlington, County Durham, when he passed the cyclist, who works as a hospital porter, on a mini roundabout.
After the cyclist protested what Recorder Anthony Kelbrick described as Evers’ “inconsiderate driving”, the motorist – captured on the rider’s helmet camera – deliberately swerved in front of the cyclist, before weaving across the road ahead of him.
Evers then slammed on his brakes twice, causing the cyclist to crash into the rear of his vehicle. Following the collision, the 48-year-old drove off, leaving the stricken cyclist lying in the middle of the road, where other motorists came to his aid.
The cyclist was later taken to hospital, where he was treated for a broken pelvis. He was forced to take time off work to recover from his injuries, which have been described as having a potentially long-lasting impact on his health.
Evers, meanwhile, was arrested two weeks after the incident when a police officer spotted him driving the Volkswagen Golf involved in the collision in Darlington.
He later pleaded guilty to driving whilst disqualified, causing assault occasioning actual bodily harm, dangerous driving, driving with no insurance, failing to stop after an accident, and failing to report an accident.
“You are a danger to other road users,” Recorder Anthony Kelbrick told Evers during sentencing at Teesside Crown Court this week.
“What you did on that day was a deliberate act of road-rage, when another road user protested about your inconsiderate driving.
“You must have known that the victim had been knocked off his bike, but you callously drove off leaving him in the road badly injured. The effect your actions have had on him were grave and the court has heard of the long-lasting, possibly permanent, impact it has had on him.”
In a victim impact statement, the cyclist criticised both the motorist’s initial driving and his shocking reaction, and also noted that his injuries have had a devastating effect on his life.
“I want to say that because you couldn’t be bothered to wait a matter of seconds behind a cyclist, you put me in danger,” the cyclist said.
“Because of your actions you left me lying in the middle of the road and you didn’t even have the decency to check I was okay or to ring an ambulance for me.”
Sam Faulks, mitigating, urged the judge to pass a suspended sentence for the road rage attack, and argued that “these serious offences were committed in the heat of the moment – they were not pre-planned, not pre-meditated, nor were they sophisticated”.
He continued: “He understands the overwhelming price of his stupidity, he is deeply sorry and mortified about what he has done.”
As well as being jailed for 21 months, Evers has been banned from driving for a further two years upon his release from custody.
Despite the shocking nature of the incident, similar road rage attacks on cyclists are becoming increasingly common.
Earlier this month, Dorset Police launched an appeal for witnesses after a driver allegedly knocked a cyclist off his bike and spat at him during an “incident of road rage”.
According to the police, a man in his 20s was cycling on the A31 towards Ringwood, approaching a temporary lane closure, when the driver of a green or grey Volvo estate “approached at speed and braked heavily, before sounding his horn at the cyclist”.
The cyclist initially rode away, before a collision was subsequently reported near the Sainsbury’s petrol station in Ferndown involving both men. While the rider fortunately did not sustain any serious injuries, the driver did get out of his vehicle to spit at the cyclist before leaving the scene.
In February, we reported that a Stagecoach driver in Swindon allegedly left his bus to punch a cyclist to the ground. Wiltshire Police and the bus company said they would investigate after a witness reported the driver becoming “impatient” at a cyclist and their 11-year-old son for not using a cycle lane.
A month earlier, a video of a fuming driver confronting a cyclist went viral when the motorist forgot to apply his handbrake, causing the roadside argument to be briefly halted as he raced to prevent his car from rolling away.
Ryan joined road.cc as a news writer in December 2021. He has written about cycling and some ball-centric sports for various websites, newspapers, magazines and radio. Before returning to writing about cycling full-time, he completed a PhD in History and published a book and numerous academic articles on religion and politics in Victorian Britain and Ireland (though he remained committed to boring his university colleagues and students with endless cycling trivia). He can be found riding his bike very slowly through the Dromara Hills of Co. Down.