‘Reckless’ lorry driver jailed for killing pedestrian while distracted by phone
A cement mixer driver who allegedly tried to hide his phone after he crashed his lorry into a pedestrian and killed him has been jailed for three years and four months.
Video footage from inside Dan-constantin Caraza’s cab shows his vehicle veering towards 65-year-old Brian Riley before fatally striking him on the A134 near Sudbury in Suffolk.
Mr Riley, who was wheeling his bike along the side of the road, was facing away from the cement mixer when it hit him on October 19 2018.
He died at the scene.
A camera on the outside of Caraza’s vehicle captured him exiting his cab and stashing his phone in an external compartment before going to check on Mr Riley.
Suffolk Police said witnesses saw Caraza looking down into his lap and that they saw the vehicle veering to the nearside and failing to brake as it collided with Mr Riley.
Analysis of Caraza’s mobile phone found that it had been active at the time of the collision, the force said.
The 30-year-old defendant, from Bridge Avenue in Upminster, east London, admitted at an earlier hearing at Ipswich Crown Court to causing death by dangerous driving, Suffolk Police said.
He was jailed at the same court on Tuesday.
Caraza was also disqualified from driving for five years and eight months and will be required to take an extended re-test.
The defendant said he had been distracted by his mobile phone but claimed he had not been using it.
He denied committing an act with intent to pervert the course of justice, by concealing the phone, and prosecutors said they would not pursue this due to him admitting the other offence.
They said the charge would lie on file.
Detective Inspector Chris Hinitt, of the Serious Collision Investigation Unit, said: “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.”