A Grimsby lorry driver has been jailed for two years after admitting killing a cyclist by careless driving, reports the Yorkshire Post. Mervyn White, 64, gave police a variety of excuses for hitting Julian Barlow and also said the cyclist should have let his lorry through.
White hit and killed 49-year-old Julian Barlow, known as Jules, on July 27, 2014, when he drove his 18-tonne articulated lorry onto a roundabout at the junction of the M62 eastbound and A19 Selby Road at Whitley, near Goole.
Richard Walters, prosecuting, said White failed to give way to Barlow and proceeded onto the roundabout without stopping, his speed never lower than 19mph.
"Mr Barlow was wearing a red top and cycling in a completely appropriate manner, and was visible for some time. The defendant simply pulled straight out and [Barlow] went underneath the vehicle."
White initially denied the charge and claimed he had been blinded by the sun but changed his plea the day before the trial as a result of a report commissioned by his own defence team.
The York Press reports that in a police interview, White said he had been taught to keep the lorry moving whenever possible at roundabouts to save fuel.
He also said that Barlow should have let the lorry through, adding “it takes two to tango”. The Honorary Recorder of York, Judge Paul Batty QC, described this as a “deeply unpleasant” phrase.
White told police he had been blinded by the sun, but Walters said it had been proven that the sun wasn't a factor.
White also tried to blame the position of his mirrors and the A-frame on his vehicle. However, he later conceded that he had been driving the same model of vehicle for the previous four or five years. The prosecution said this would have made him aware of any defects or shortcomings.
White was jailed for two years and given a three-year driving ban.
Acting traffic sergeant Zoe Billings who led the investigation said:
“This was a horrific and preventable collision which has left Jules’ wife and friends bereft and broken. Jules was an experienced cyclist, who paid particular attention to the maintenance of his bike and his own safety.
“Despite the fact that the investigation uncovered dashcam footage of the incident, which clearly showed that White’s careless driving was the cause of Jules death – he chose to plead not guilty until the day before the trial, forcing Jules’ wife to go through a long court process and extending the hurt and agony for her further.
“I hope that today’s sentence can provide some small comfort to Wendy and thank her for the tremendous courage she has shown throughout the investigation.”