“Why didn’t you see him?” That was the question posed in court this week by the family of a cyclist who was struck from behind and killed by a former HGV driver, as the motorist was handed a nine-month suspended sentence for causing the father-of-two’s death.
41-year-old David Jones was cycling on the A48 Crack Hill in Bridgend at around 5.50am on 27 May 2020 when he was hit from behind by 74-year-old Raymond Treharne driving a 4x4 Grand Cherokee Jeep, Wales Online reports.
Jones was thrown in the air in the collision and suffered a serious head injury. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Following the crash, former professional driver Treharne allegedly told witnesses that “I hit him… He was standing on the bike. He fell into the road”.
However, forensic collision investigators told the subsequent trial at Cardiff Crown Court that Mr Jones was riding his bike in an upright position at the time of the fatal collision, and did not fall prior to Treharne hitting him.
The trial also heard that there was no evidence that the motorist had applied his brakes or swerved before the collision.
Treharne, who pleaded not guilty to causing Mr Jones’ death by careless driving, was found guilty following the trial last month and on Monday was sentenced to nine months in prison, suspended for 12 months, and banned from driving for seven years.
> Fuel tanker driver receives six-month suspended sentence for causing death of cyclist by careless driving
At the sentencing hearing at Swansea Crown Court, Mr Jones’ father, Tony, said in a victim impact statement that Treharne’s decision to plead not guilty only served to prolong the family’s pain, and questioned the driver’s decisions on the day his son was killed.
“We’re good people and a good family. We don’t harbour hate or malice towards anyone. We’re not looking for vengeance or a pound of flesh,” Mr Jones’ father said.
“We’re looking for justice and an answer to an easy question. Where were you looking? How could you not see my son riding a bike? Why didn’t you see him? Only you and your conscience can answer that question.
“My son was out cycling, doing something he loved, and did nothing wrong. You were to blame. If you would have taken responsibility, we could have had some closure sooner. But you hid behind vagueness and slowed the process down and added to our pain. We are left with a life of pain and sorrow.”
The mother of Mr Jones’ two children, Michelle Crocker, also told the court that “telling them their father had died was the hardest thing I’ve had to do”.
Defending, Helen Randall said the “desperately sad incident” has had a “profound effect” on Treharne, “a man who made a career through driving for over 50 years”.
“He stopped driving after the collision and working for the first time in 50 years,” she said.
> Driver jailed for two-and-a-half years for killing one cyclist and seriously injuring another blamed victims for “not riding in single file”
Sentencing Treharne, Judge Catherine Richards said: “Mr Jones was an experienced cyclist and was not to blame at all. No sentence can reflect the pain and distress the family have been, and are, going through.
“The light and conditions that day may have made it more difficult to see Mr Jones, but after hearing expert and forensic evidence, the driver would have seen him for at least seven seconds. If you would have been paying attention you would have seen him.”
In addition to the suspended sentence and driving disqualification, the judge also imposed on the 74-year-old a curfew between 5pm and 6am, which will last for six months.
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