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Trucker fined after cyclist badly hurt

The Evening Star: Trucker fined after cyclist badly hurt

TOM POTTER

Last updated: 2/26/2010 3:00:00 PM

A TRUCK driver has been fined and issued with five penalty points after he admitted causing a crash which left a cyclist seriously injured.

Gintautas Stunzenas, 40, pleaded guilty to careless driving at South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court following the collision with cyclist Christopher Askew, who suffered a fractured pelvis, three broken ribs, a punctured lung and broken collar bones.

The court heard yesterday how Stunzenas, from Lithuania, failed to notice Mr Askew in front of his left-hand-drive Mercedes tractor unit as he entered the Paper Mill Lane roundabout on the B1113 at Claydon.

A witness travelling behind then saw the cyclist's body flung from the rear axle of Stunzenas vehicle.

Father-of-one Stunzenas was arrested following the collision, which happened at around 7am on Wednesday as he travelled towards Bramford to pick up a trailer.

Mr Askew was able to stand up and briefly talked to police at the scene but his injuries were too severe for him to give them a statement.

Prosecutor Gareth Davies said: “Mr Askew was thrown under the back axle. It seems he staggered to his feet but then collapsed.

“Various people comforted him while help arrived and he was taken to Ipswich Hospital with very serious injuries.”

Mr Davies said none of the witnesses interviewed could recall seeing lights on Mr Askew's bike.

A tachograph reading showed Stunzenas had complied with the speed limit on his approach to the roundabout, had stopped to give way at the junction and was travelling no faster than 15mph when the collision happened.

Tariq Khawam, mitigating, revealed his client had no previous convictions and had been driving for four years in this country.

“He stopped at the scene, making no attempt to escape, and took full responsibility. He simply didn't see the cyclist.

“He has been extremely upset and is of course concerned for the welfare of the cyclist and how his injuries are going to progress. He accepts that we are very lucky not to be dealing with a fatality at the moment.”

Magistrates fined Stunzenas £240 and endorsed his licence with five points. He was also told to pay £100 in court fees.