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Driver found guilty of causing death by careless driving after killing cyclist was using Snapchat moments before fatal incident

There was a gap of 30 seconds between the driver using Snapchat and calling 999

A driver who strayed into the opposite carriageway while using Snapchat moments before colliding with a cyclist who died in hospital eight days later has been found guilty of causing death by careless driving. 

Silan Kaya was found guilty of causing death by careless driving at St. Albans Crown Court after being found not guilty of causing death by dangerous driving, reports the Welwyn Hatfield Times.

The incident happened just before Christmas day in 2019 when Kaya hit Brian Hart-Leverton on Dancers Hill Road, Bentley Heath near the Hertfordshire town of Potters Bar in her white BMW 220D.

The prosecution could not say that Kaya was using the social media app at the moment of the collision, but they found that there was a 30 second gap between her using the app and the moment the 25-year-old called 999.

Unfortunately, Mr Hart-Leverton died eight days later on December 29 2019 in The Royal London Hospital.

Kaya was reported to have said in the witness box: “The cyclist was pretty much approaching me in my lane. After that moment something happened. All I remember was my car coming into the ditch and my glass breaking.

“As soon as my car came to a stop. I immediately ran out of my car to see what was happening on the road. I saw the cyclist. I sought medical help as soon as I could and dialed 999.”

Kaya pleaded not guilty for both death caused by dangerous driving as well as death caused by careless driving but the judge deemed that she was “distracted by text messages” despite her protest of “No, it was not.”

Kaya will be sentenced on October 14 2022 by Judge Lana Wood.

Tim is a freelance writer who has worked for publications such as Cycling Weekly, VeloNews, Rouleur and Eurosport during his career so far. He has also been the social media manager for UCI Continental Team, Global 6 Cycling, where he travelled Europe covering races. A graduate in journalism from Sheffield Hallam University, Tim is well trained in writing a whole manner of articles but has focussed almost entirely on the world of cycling. He loves to go for rides on his local roads in North Yorkshire as well as around the country.

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