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Speeding driver who killed cyclist sentenced to four years in jail

Aaron Metcalfe was driving his BMW at nearly twice the speed limit when he crashed into Mariusz Zak in Hull

A ​man who was driving his BMW at nearly twice the speed limit in Hull when he crashed into and killed a cyclist has been sentenced to four years in jail.

Aaron Metcalfe, aged 35, appeared for sentencing at Hull Crown Court on Friday 26 January after pleading guilty to causing the death by dangerous driving of 42-year-old cyclist Mariusz Zak.

Humberside Police say that the fatal crash happened at around 1.40pm on Saturday 18 December 2021, with Mr Zak dying in hospital from his injuries shortly after.

Officers from the force’s Roads Policing team established through CCTV footage that Metcalfe had been driving at a speed in excess of 54mph in a 30mph zone at the time of the fatal crash.

But when the motorist was questioned at the scene, he claimed he had been travelling at between 30 and 35mph.

Metcalfe, who had been charged with causing death by dangerous driving, attempted to offer a guilty plea to the less serious offence of causing death by careless driving, but the Crown Prosecution Service rejected his approach.

He subsequently admitted the more serious charge ahead of his trial, where the court heard that he was “showing off” the car, which he had bought four weeks earlier to celebrate the birth of his daughter, to a friend who was a passenger in the vehicle, reports the Hull Daily Mail.

Besides the prison sentence handed down to him last week, Metcalfe was also banned from driving for four years and will have to take an extended driving test should he wish to regain his licence afterwards, and his car was also seized.

Mr Zak’s widow, Justyna, wrote in a statement read out in court of the impact of her husband’s death on her and their two sons, aged seven and 14, saying that their lives had “changed by 180 degrees.”

She continued: “My whole adult life, I spent with Mariusz. He was almost half of my life.

“One day changed everything and I was left alone. Since that day, I have had to take care of everything by myself. I have to take care of our children. I need to be a mother and a father at the same time, which is not an easy task.

“I lost my husband, best friend, the person I could speak to about everything,” she added.  

Roads Policing Sergeant Sean Hutchinson, who led the investigation said: “The reckless speeds that Metcalfe was driving that night cost Mariusz his life, leaving his wife and two sons with the unimagenable pain of navigating a future without him.

“Whilst I know the outcome at court can’t change the horrific ordeal they have experienced, I hope that it will bring them some comfort knowing that Metcalfe his now being punished for his actions.

“Road safety remains a priority for us and we will seek to take action against anyone driving dangerously. Whether that is by using a phone whilst driving, driving under the influence of drink or drugs, speeding, not wearing a seatbelt or doing anything that puts people on the road at risk.

“We continue to encourage members of the public to report any road traffic offences and dangerous driving to us by calling our non-emergency number 101 or 999 in an emergency, when safe to do so, to help hold reckless and dangerous drivers to account,” he added.

Humberside Police reiterated that members of the public can submit video evidence of driving offences through its online Operation Snap portal.

Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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11 comments

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lonpfrb | 2 weeks ago
1 like

"Metcalfe is now being punished for his actions."

Two years at His Majesty's pleasure in no way reflects the harm caused.

The Sentencing Council guides judges to ludicrous penalties for killing with a motor vehicle.

This must change as Assault with a deadly weapon, ABH, GBH, Manslaughter and Murder are not Traffic offences.

Starting with CPS who won't charge with the appropriate offences.

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B_Sauce | 2 weeks ago
0 likes

Also, 35 years old? Ok...

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B_Sauce | 2 weeks ago
2 likes

"He has driven tens of thousands of miles since this incident..."

That's disconcerting

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eburtthebike | 3 weeks ago
22 likes

"........he was “showing off” the car, which he had bought four weeks earlier to celebrate the birth of his daughter..."

I had to read that three times before I began to understand it.  Anyone who buys a fast powerful car isn't celebrating the birth of a child, they are indulging in their self interest, which he was still doing when he killed Mariusz.  So sad that a person has to die because some people are so utterly selfish and stupid.

"......and his car was also seized."

I wonder if he thinks celebrating his daughter's birth that way is worth it now.  Well done to the CPS for this prosecution and for seizing the car, but that raises the question as to why that isn't routine?  It would probably have some effect on the car-lovers if they knew their car would be sacrificed if they drove dangerously.

EDIT: just read the Hull DM article, and this leapt out at me:

"Aaron Metcalfe bought the car, which was his pride and joy......."  Not his daughter.

And ".....his speed at the time of the collision was 54 to 57mph."  Assuming that he braked, how fast was he going before?

"The cyclist had not looked over his shoulder before moving out."  If Metcalfe was going 60mph+ it is unlikely he would have been able to tell if the cyclist looked or not, so this is just the usual victim blaming.

"Metcalfe was a decent, hardworking man who ordinarily put other people first."  Well, pardon me, but that doesn't seem to fit with his behaviour.

""It's a relatively short distance that was travelled at that speed – 200 metres."  I don't know how many metres it takes to accelerate to that speed, but is seems unlikely that he was only travelling above the limit for a short distance.

"Had the victim looked and seen the car, the accident would not have happened."  This claim is unprovable and irrelevant.  The victim could have looked, but at the speed the car was doing, the driver would not have seen him do it.  The cyclist could have looked, assumed that the car was moving at the speed limit and he had plenty of time to cross.

This from the judge ""He crossed and it's clear that he didn't look."  The only evidence that the cyclist didn't look comes from the criminal driver who killed him, who has a rather large vested interest in blaming the victim.  For the judge to say this indicates clear bias.

And finally ""It was an isolated moment of madness."  Bolox it was.  I'd lay money that he'd been driving like a prat for four weeks, he just hadn't been caught.

This whole thing demonstrates yet again the depth of the obsession with cars in our society.  If Metcalfe ever gets his licence back it will be too soon.

Apologies for the length, but at least I edited out the swearing.

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ktache | 3 weeks ago
20 likes

My deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Mariusz.

I am pleased the CPS declined the easy way out and the seizure of the vehicle is interesting, presumably he'd already had it repaired.

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mctrials23 | 3 weeks ago
27 likes

Another comically lenient sentence for someone doing something fantastically dangerous that results in at least 1 life gone and probably a dozen or so ruined. 2 years in prison though, I'm, sure that will make up for those kids not having a father or the mother not having a husband and being traumatised. I'm sure that will make up for his parents losing their child.

I mean, fucking hell. Whats even the point when the punishment for this is so pathetic. 2 years for a life.  

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cmedred | 3 weeks ago
29 likes

That Hull Live story is rather amazing. It opens with this: "A speeding driver in a newly bought high-performance BMW knocked over and killed a cyclist who suddenly rode out in front of him without looking."

It is known the cyclist did not look how? The cyclist is not alive to present his side of the story, and there is no mention of clear and concise CCTV footage that would show this.

And then farther down in the story there is: 

The cyclist "had been riding a bicycle on the pavement alongside Metcalfe, but he changed direction and rode across the road near a traffic island. He came into the path of the BMW....

"Had the victim looked and seen the car, the accident would not have happened."

The story is basically an exercise in victim blaming. The reporter who wrote it should be ashamed of himself. 

 

 

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brooksby replied to cmedred | 3 weeks ago
17 likes

The cyclist might have had a better chance, irrespective of whether or not he looked or 'suddenly changed direction', had the drivist not been showing off and driving at twice the posted speed limit... surprise

 

(also - "bought himself a new car to celebrate the birth of his daughter"??? Seriously???)

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andystow replied to brooksby | 3 weeks ago
5 likes
brooksby wrote:

(also - "bought himself a new car to celebrate the birth of his daughter"??? Seriously???)

Gullible wife? She wouldn't let him just buy the car, but "celebrating our daughter's birth" why that's so sweet, how could she say no to that?

When my sons were born I celebrated by buying a car seat, nappies, and a playpen.

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Secret_squirrel replied to andystow | 3 weeks ago
3 likes

Less Gullible wife and more likely knuckle dragging husband who didnt give her a say.

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SaneRebel replied to cmedred | 3 weeks ago
8 likes

It may well be the cyclist had looked, but may not have appreciated the driver was going twice the speed limit and therefore thought he had much more time. When looking, vulnerable road users should not have to expect such recklessness. Bring on more cameras, bigger fines, seizing and crushing of cars, loss of driving licenses, and prison for the worst offenders. And what's with 'high performance cars'? The technolgy is now here to maintain cars within a given speed limit within a given geofence. Excessive excelleration is also a problem.

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