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Suspended sentence for impatient driver who knew he'd caused cyclist's crash but said it was 'karma'

Ralph Keemer failed to stop and showed no remorse for triathlete who ended up needing surgery

A Surrey driver who grew impatient with a cyclist and caused her to crash has been handed a 14-month suspended sentence. Ralph Keemer, 59, told police he knew that triathlete Laura Fidler had fallen from her bike but didn’t stop, saying it was "karma".

Surrey Live reports that on August 5, 2018, Fidler was riding along Bridge Road in Chertsey, avoiding potholes on her nearside, when Keemer came up behind.

The driver became impatient and honked his horn several times. He then pulled alongside Fidler, verbally abused her and then steered towards her, braking sharply as his front wheel hit the kerb.

Forced to brake hard, Fidler went over her handlebars and landed on her head and shoulder. She  suffered injuries that police described as "GBH level".

PC Marin Garvanonic, who investigated the crash, said: "The incident resulted in the victim having to have surgery on her shoulder, despite which [it] will never return to its pre-injury condition. As a semi-professional triathlete, this has been absolutely devastating for her.

"Keemer admitted in interview that he knew his actions caused the accident, even though there was no contact between his car and the bike. The officers who interviewed him were also stunned when he further admitted that he knew the cyclist had fallen from her bike but despite that, still did not stop.

"He also said several times that what had happened to her was 'karma' and showed no remorse or compassion.

"The case also serves as a timely reminder to motorists to give cyclists as much room as they would when overtaking a car when passing them."

Keemer had earlier pleaded guilty to causing serious injury by dangerous driving, failing to stop at the scene of a collision, failing to report a collision and driving a vehicle without an MOT.

As well as the prison sentence, which was suspended for two years, he received six points on his licence and was banned from driving for 30 months, after which he must pass an enhanced driving test.

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