Death crash trucker’s ‘mindless’ behaviour exposed by dashcam
PUBLISHED: 14:29 25 March 2020 | UPDATED: 14:29 25 March 2020
Police have called a truck driver’s behaviour moments after fatally injuring a cyclist ‘truly shocking.
Suffolk police released dashcam footage from a cement mixer driven by Dan-constantin Caraza and involved in a fatal collision on the outskirts of Sudbury in 2018.
The 30-year-old, of Bridge Avenue in Upminster, was jailed for 40 months and banned from the road for an extended period of five years and eight months at Ipswich Crown Court on Tuesday for causing the death of Brian Riley by dangerous driving.
Mr Riley, 65, from the Sudbury area, was pushing his bike along the A134 Long Melford bypass shortly after 10am on October 19 when struck from behind.
Witnesses reported seeing Mr Riley walking well within the white line to the nearside of the road and clearly visible to other road users, while Caraza was seen looking down into his lap, with his vehicle veering to the nearside and failing to brake.
Dashcam footage supported witness accounts, while analysis of Caraza’s phone found it had been active at the time and was used on a number of occasions earlier the same morning.
After the collision, a camera on the outside of the vehicle captured him exit the cab and place a phone into an external compartment, before going to check on Mr Riley.
Caraza admitted he had been distracted by the phone, but claimed to have not been using it.
He denied intent to pervert the course of public justice by hiding a phone in his lorry on the same date. Prosecutors accepted the pleas and did not seek a trial.
Detective Inspector Chris Hinitt, of the serious collision investigation unit, said Mr Riley’s completely avoidable death was caused by a professional driver who showed complete disregard for the lives of other road users.
“I struggle to find the right words to express my feelings about this incident and the sheer mindlessness that brought a very sudden and abrupt end to a 65-year-old man’s life,” he added.
“The reckless driving was compounded by the fact that after the collision, Caraza’s first thought was where to put his phone, rather than rush to the assistance of the man he had just hit – truly shocking behaviour.
“This should highlight, beyond any doubt, what a dangerous combination mobile phones and driving are. At best, you will receive six points and a £200 fine. At worst, you could be responsible for killing someone.”