A delivery driver who had smoked as much as six joints of weed and was “out partying” before driving straight into a cyclist and knocking her down, leaving her with severe injuries requiring stitches and even plastic surgery to her head, has avoided jail due to the time it took for the case to get to court.
Marek Grzezulkowski, aged 43, reportedly had only had three hours of sleep when he drove his Mercedes van into the back of the cyclist on Fishmore Road, Ludlow on New Year’s Eve, 2021, reports Shropshire Star.
She was left with a “cracked” kidney and needed plastic surgery to an injury for her head, which was the size of a “two pound coin” and required 15 to 20 stitches.
The victim also had severe grazing to her toe and knee, heavy bruising to her inner thighs and “severe pain” in many areas of her body. She also described having mood swings during the month after the crash happened, although no brain injuries were discovered.
Dashcam footage from Grzezulkowski's van was played to Shrewsbury Crown Court, showing his vehicle travelling at around 30mph and not slowing down before colliding with the victim.
Grzezulkowski was later drug tested and found to have 4.2 micrograms of Delta 9 THC per litre of blood, which is the main psychoactive part of cannabis. That is more than twice the legal limit of 2 micrograms, when considering the possibility of accidental exposure.
The court heard that he had called the ambulance and stayed with the victim. However, it remained disputed whether he had fallen asleep or was just driving carelessly when he hit the cyclist.
He pleaded guilty to causing serious injury by dangerous driving. Alexa Carrier, mitigating, said: “He told me he can't express his remorse enough and wishes he could switch places with the victim.”
However, recorder MacAdam expressed his concern and objection at the amount of time it took for the case to be processed, saying it should have taken a matter of weeks for Grzezulkowski to be charged and eventually sentenced, especially given his full admissions to the police.
He told the court: “This case, although serious, was a simple investigation.”
He added, addressing Grzezulkowski: “I fully accept you are remorseful. If this had been presented earlier and you were in court when you should have been, I may well have thought an immediate prison sentence was appropriate. However, I have to take into account the period of time that has passed.”
He handed Grzezulkowski a 16-month prison sentence, suspended for two years. MacAdam also disqualified him from driving for two years, ordered him to carry out 20 rehabilitation activity days, and pay £250 in prosecution costs.
Adwitiya joined road.cc in 2023 as a news writer after graduating with a masters in journalism from Cardiff University. His dissertation focused on active travel, which soon threw him into the deep end of covering everything related to the two-wheeled tool, and now cycling is as big a part of his life as guitars and football. He has previously covered local and national politics for Voice Wales, and also likes to writes about science, tech and the environment, if he can find the time. Living right next to the Taff trail in the Welsh capital, you can find him trying to tackle the brutal climbs in the valleys.