Lorry driver who killed cyclist on A1035 is spared prison
A LORRY driver who killed a cyclist as he travelled to work was driving too fast and should have slowed down.
Former Army driver David Grogan, 40, hit Tim Andrew as he cycled to work at County Hall in Beverley along the A1035 Tickton Road.
He has been spared jail after it was revealed Mr Andrew's rear light was not very bright.
Judge Simon Jack told Grogan: "You were driving a large HGV in a way that fell significantly below what is expected of a competent and careful driver."
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Grogan was convicted of causing death by careless driving by a jury at Hull Crown Court.
Grogan was driving a lorry from Brandesburton towards Beverley at the time of the accident on October 14, 2010, at 6.40am.
He claimed he had not seen the cyclist but admitted he had a smudge on the window, which affected his view of the road, but he continued his journey.
Judge Jack criticised Grogan for not addressing problems he was having with visibility through his windscreen and the speed at which he was travelling.
He also claimed the brightness of Mr Andrew's light could have contributed to the accident.
"I'm satisfied there were at least three main factors which led to the death of Mr Andrew, the first that you were aware you had a problem with your screen."
He said Grogan failed to slow down despite rain and smears on his windscreen caused by a problem with his windscreen wipers.
"The speed limit was 40mph and you should have slowed significantly below it," he said.
"You knew you had a difficulty and you didn't slow at all. Your tacograph suggested 46mph. I will give you the benefit of the doubt that you were right on the speed limit but that was too high given the circumstances due to the weather conditions and you had a problem with your windscreen."
He said the "relatively poor state" of Mr Andrew's back light was another factor.
"I'm prepared to act on the basis that his rear light was not as bright as one would have wished and that was a factor leading up to the collision, but you were not paying proper attention because, on your own evidence, you didn't see him until the last minute," said Judge Jack.
"You should have been able to pick up his bike in the beam of your headlights from 35 metres away but you never saw anything until you were a couple of metres from him.
"I'm satisfied that is because you were not paying proper attention."
Judge Jack said this was "relatively serious case of causing death by careless driving."
He said: "Mr Andrew's rear light may have contributed to the accident and, in these circumstances, I take the view that it wouldn't be just to send you straight to prison."
Grogan, of Applegarth Lane, Bridlington, was given a 12-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, and was ordered to carry out 300 hours of unpaid work.
He has been banned from driving for 18 months and given eight penalty points.
Judge Jack said: "I think this was a one-off so far as you are concerned.
"I'm confident you will be a very careful driver in the future."
He has not ordered him to pay costs after the court heard he is suffering financially as he does not have a job.
Mr Andrew, 48, of Sigglesthorne, worked as a cleaner for East Riding Council at Hornsea School and County Hall.
Mr Andrew's brother Jeff, 45, said: "Tim was a keen cyclist, it was his passion. He was happy-go-lucky and would do anything for anyone.
"He would often be helping his elderly neighbours.
"He was always a safe cyclist and even carried spare batteries in case his lights failed. He took his bike in to be serviced twice a year."