A man who hit and killed a mother-of-three with his car, drove off and hit another cyclist minutes later has been convicted of causing her death by dangerous driving, also pleading guilty to numerous other offences connected with the incident.
Agnieszka Pocztowska, 41, was riding her bike on Hungerford Road in Crewe at 6.55am on 14 September 2020 when she was hit by 22-year-old Nathan Schultz driving a silver Ford Focus, with 21-year-old Kasey Wrench in a passenger seat. Ms Pocztowska was pronounced dead shortly after the collision.
Schultz, from Burslem, failed to stop and continued driving towards the M6 motorway, when he hit another cyclist just minutes after fatally injuring Ms Pocztowska. The victim of this second collision, a 53-year-old man, suffered only minor injuries, and Schultz once again failed to stop.
A manhunt was launched to trace those involved, and the Ford Focus was found abandoned in Trent Vale following enquiries. The car was reported to have had extensive damage to the front windscreen along with three defective tyres.
Schultz was identified as a suspect on the day of the incident, and arrested later that day. Wrench was also quickly identified as the passenger, arrested in connection with the incident and pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, driving without a licence and driving without insurance.
At the time of Wrench's sentencing in December 2021, Crewe Nub News reported from the trial that Wrench was 'half asleep' after a drink and drugs binge, and was a passenger in the Ford Focus until it entered Trent Vale, when he swapped seats with Schultz. Wrench was seen driving the vehicle for 400 metres, with the judge saying that he "...drove the car in a sense of panic because of what the vehicle had been involved in."
Wrench was sentenced to 12 months in prison - suspended for 24 months - plus 200 hours unpaid work, £300 costs, a £136 victim surcharge and a three-year driving disqualification.
While Wrench admitted his involvement straight away following his arrest, Schultz initially refused to answer any questions and pretended to be asleep when he was asked to provide a sample of breath.
Eventually Schultz pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, failing to provide a specimen, driving without insurance, driving without a licence, two counts of failing to stop following a collision, two counts of failing to report a collision, causing the death of Agnieszka Pocztowska whilst unlicensed and causing the death of Agnieszka Pocztowska whilst uninsured.
PC Robin Fisher, of the Serious and Complex Collision investigation unit, said: “Agnieszka was a loving wife and a devoted mum to her three children.
“She left home that morning and was cycling home to work, but as a result of the actions taken by Schultz and Wrench she never arrived.
“The pair are both responsible for her death, Schultz was driving the car that hit her and Wrench was sat in the passenger seat.
“They were both aware that they had hit Agniszka, but rather than stop at the scene to help her, they purposefully chose to drive off and left her to die at the side of the road.
“Even after the second collision, they continued and thought that they could evade justice. But thankfully, after a complex and detailed investigation, we were able to locate and bring both men to justice for their actions that day.”
Inspector Helen Cooper added: “It has taken more than two years to get to this point, but I hope that the guilty verdict reached today will provide Agniszka’s family with some form of closure.
“The pain and suffering that they have endured is unimaginable and our thoughts are with them at this time.
“This has been one of the most difficult cases that I have ever dealt with in my whole career at Cheshire Constabulary and I would like to thank all of the officers who have been involved in this case and who have all played a role in helping to finally achieve justice for Agnieszka’s family.”
Schultz has been remanded in custody and is due to be sentenced on Friday 3 March.
Arriving at road.cc in 2017 via 220 Triathlon Magazine, Jack dipped his toe in most jobs on the site and over at eBikeTips before being named the new editor of road.cc in 2020, much to his surprise. His cycling life began during his students days, when he cobbled together a few hundred quid off the back of a hard winter selling hats (long story) and bought his first road bike - a Trek 1.1 that was quickly relegated to winter steed, before it was sadly pinched a few years later. Creatively replacing it with a Trek 1.2, Jack mostly rides this bike around local cycle paths nowadays, but when he wants to get the racer out and be competitive his preferred events are time trials, sportives, triathlons and pogo sticking - the latter being another long story.