Sudbury - Man jailed for causing death by dangerous driving | Suffolk Constabulary

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Sudbury - Man jailed for causing death by dangerous driving

Dan-constantin Caraza

A 30-year-old lorry driver from east London has been jailed for over three years, in connection with a fatal road traffic collision on the outskirts of Sudbury in 2018.

Dan-constantin Caraza, of Bridge Avenue in Upminster, appeared before Ipswich Crown Court today/yesterday, Tuesday 24 March, where he was sentenced to 40 months’ imprisonment.

He was also disqualified from driving for five years and eight months and will be required to take an extended retest.

Caraza had pleaded guilty at a previous hearing to causing the death of Brian Riley by dangerous driving, in a collision on the A134 Long Melford bypass on Friday 19 October 2018.

Mr Riley, who was 65-years-old and from the Sudbury area, was pushing his bicycle along the road shortly after 10am that morning, when he was struck from behind by a cement mixer lorry driven by Caraza.

Emergency services were called and arrived within a matter of minutes, but despite the best efforts of paramedics, Mr Riley died at the scene of the collision.

Initial witness accounts reported seeing Mr Riley walking well within the designated white line to the nearside of the road and was clearly visible to other road users.

With reference to Caraza’s manner of driving, witnesses stated he had been seen looking down into his lap with his vehicle veering to the nearside and failing to brake as he collided with Mr Riley.

Dashcam footage obtained from the cement mixer supported these witness accounts, with the vehicle drifting to the nearside prior to hitting Mr Riley. Analysis of Caraza’s mobile phone found that it had been active at the time of the collision, as it had been on a number of occasions earlier the same morning.

After the collision, a camera on the outside of Caraza’s vehicle then captured him exit the cab and place a mobile phone into an external compartment, before going to check on Mr Riley.

When he pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving, Caraza admitted he had been distracted by his mobile phone, but claimed he had not been using it.

He denied a second charge of committing an act with intent to pervert the course of justice (by concealing the phone) and prosecutors opted to not pursue this matter following his admission of the other offence and it will lie on the file.

Footage from the dashcam of Caraza’s vehicle immediately prior to the collision & the external camera afterwards can be viewed here:

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.” 

Previous release | 26 October 2018

Police are naming the 65-year-old cyclist who died following a serious road traffic collision near Sudbury.

The incident occurred at around 10.10am on Friday 19 October, on the A134 between the roundabout junction with the B1064/A131 and Mills Lane.  

A lorry and a bicycle were involved in a collision and the cyclist, Brian Riley from the Sudbury area, sadly died at the scene.

Previous release | 19 October 2018 - 4.20pm

A man has died following a serious road traffic collision near Sudbury.

The incident occurred at around 10.10am this morning, Friday 19 October, on the A134, between the roundabout junction with the B1064/A131 and Mills Lane.  

A lorry and a bicycle were involved in a collision and the cyclist sadly died at the scene.

The A134 was closed for a collision investigation to take place, with the road expected to reopen at around 5pm today.

Diversions are in place from the roundabout junction with the B1064/A131, but traffic can still travel around the roundabout towards Long Melford and into Sudbury.

At the opposite end the A134 is closed at the junction with Bull Lane, with diversions through Long Melford and Acton.

Any witnesses are asked to contact Suffolk Police on 101 quoting reference CAD 110 of 19 October.  

Previous release | 19 October 2018 - 11.30am

Emergency services are currently at the scene of a serious road traffic collision involving a lorry and a cyclist near Sudbury.

The incident occurred at around 10.10am this morning, Friday 19 October, on the A134, between the roundabout junction with the B1064/A131 and Mills Lane.  

The A134 is currently closed from the roundabout junction with the B1064/A131, but traffic can still travel around the roundabout towards Long Melford and into Sudbury.

At the opposite end the A134 is closed at the junction with Bull Lane, with diversions through Long Melford and Acton.

Any witnesses are asked to contact Suffolk Police on 101 quoting reference CAD 110 of 19 October.