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Lorry driver jailed for killing man from Sudbury

Caraza has been jailed for over three years (Suffolk Police).

30-year-old Dan-constantin Caraza, of Bridge Avenue in Upminster, previously pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving.

It follows an incident on 19th October 2018, where 65-year-old Brian Riley was pushing his bicycle along the A134 Long Melford Bypass and was hit from behind by a cement mixer.

Despite the best efforts of emergency services, Mr Riley from the Subdury area, died at the scene.

According to police, witnesses reported seeing the victim walking well within the designated white line and was clearly visible to other road users.

Witnesses also reported that Caraza had been seen looking down into his lap with his vehicle veering to the side and failing to brake as his collided with Mr Riley.

These reports were supported by dash cam obtained from Caraza's vehicle, and analysis of his phone found it had been active at the time of the collision.

A camera on the outside of the cement mixer saw Caraza place a mobile phone into an external compartment after the collision, before going to check on Mr Riley.

He admitted being distracted by his phone but claimed he had not been using.

Caraza denied a second charge of committing an act with intent to pervert the course of justice, in relation to concealing his phone following the collision.

Prosecutors decided not to pursue the charge following the admission of causing death by dangerous driving.

He was sentenced to 40 months in prison on Tuesday 24th March 2020.

Detective Inspector Chris Hinitt, of the Serious Collision Investigation Unit, said: "This was another completely avoidable death, caused by a professional driver who showed complete disregard for the lives and safety of other road users.

"The weather conditions that day were clear and fine and Mr Riley would have been visible at a distance of several hundred metres ahead, so it is clear that Caraza had been distracted for a considerable length of time, which the witness testimonies support.

"By comparing Caraza’s phone data with the onboard cameras, our investigators found that he had been using his mobile phone whilst driving on a number of occasions that morning, and that during these periods the vehicle had often strayed from the correct lane and been driven at excess speed.

"I struggle to find the right words to express my feelings about this incident and the sheer mindlessness that brought a very sudden and abrupt end to a 65-year-old man’s life.

"The reckless driving was compounded by the fact that after the collision, Caraza’s first thought was where to put his phone, rather than rush to the assistance of the man he had just hit – truly shocking behaviour.

"This should highlight to motorists beyond any doubt what a dangerous combination mobile phones and driving are.

"It does not matter whether you are using the phone to make a call or send a message, or whether you are looking at it and therefore distracted by it, either way you are gambling with the lives of others.

"The message is simple - put your phone away when you are driving. If caught using or holding your phone, at best you will receive six points on your licence and a £200 fine. At worst, you could be responsible for killing someone."

 

 

 

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