Police urge importance of stopping after a crash following driver’s ban for cyclist collision
Officers investigating a crash in which a cyclist suffered life-changing injuries when the driver failed to stop have said it highlighted how important stopping at an accident was.
David Sarjeant of The Street in Rushmere St Andrew was sentenced to a 20-week jail term and 12-month driving ban at South East Suffolk Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.
The 66-year-old joined the Ravenswood roundabout in Nacton Road at around 8.30pm on June 8 last year.
But despite being involved in a collision with a cyclist, the businessman failed to stop, and was found guilty of careless driving and failing to stop after a collision.
Despite no witnesses seeing the crash itself, only the aftermath in which the cyclist, Pat Tonkin, was lying on the grass with his bike wrapped around his legs, officers were able to trace Sarjeant.
Sergeant Julian Ditchum said cameras in the area helped identify the make and model of car – a Honda civic – as well as a rough age of the vehicle.
“Using a number plate search we identified vehicles in a close proximity that would need to be checked,” he added.
Sgt Ditchum said the sentence was appropriate, and urged all motorists to make sure they stop if they are involved in a collision.
“I think the penalty Mr Sarjeant has received clearly displays the severity of the incident, and the injuries the victim has received,” he said.
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“Mr Sarjeant, having had the collision, failed to stop, leaving the victim in a serious condition on the road.
“At the end of the day it has happened, but the decent thing to do having had a collision is to stop and deal with what’s in front of you.
“The first instance is the welfare of the person who has been struck, and then to comply with the law which is to stop.”
During the case at magistrates’ court on Wednesday, the court heard Sarjeant had tried to get rid of scratches on his car and phoned his partner between the accident happening and his arrest.
Sgt Ditchum added: “There was still the option for him to contact the police and identify himself as having been involved in the collision, and those opportunities were not taken.
“We support the sentence.”