Hit-and-run driver who killed Pendle cyclist spared jail

Lancashire Telegraph: VICTIM: Michael Isherwood VICTIM: Michael Isherwood

A HIT-and-run driver who left a cyclist dying in the road has avoided being sent to jail.

Delivery driver Andrew Edwards, 47, failed to stop after his van veered into the cycle lane in Kelbrook Road, Salterforth, and hit Mr Isherwood, catapulting the 36-year-old around 50-feet.

A hearing at Burnley Crown Court yesterday was told the defendant stopped 200-metres up the road to inspect damage to his vehicle before continuing with his deliveries.

He also saw the aftermath of the accident as he drove back along the road, but again failed to stop.

Edwards, of Bagshaw Street, Hyde, did not admit the offence until after he was arrested, the court was told. He later claimed he thought he had struck roadside furniture.

In court his barrister said he had veered into the cycle lane after momentarily blacking out at the wheel.

At the time he was under stress because his partner Elaine Tierney was recovering from surgery, and he had been on the road for several hours, the court heard.

He pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving and failing to stop after an accident.

Judge Andrew Woolman sentenced him to 12 months in prison, suspended for 18 months, banned him from driving for a year and ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work.

He had been warned at an earlier hearing that he could be jailed.

The court heard Mr Isherwood was catapulted beyond a roadside ditch after being hit at 10.20am on November 22.

Motorist Darren Martindale stopped and administered cardio pulmonary resuscitation to Mr Isherwood, who was still alive.

But the cyclist died before an ambulance arrived at 10.41am.

Prosecuting Mark Lamberty said Edwards had given different accounts to people about the van damage that morning.

After he was arrested on November 23, he replied: "Was it that bump yesterday? I didn't know he was dead."

For Edwards, Jamie Hamilton said Miss Tierney had undergone surgery for a brain tumour on November 3, and that Edwards had returned to work after three weeks’ leave on the morning of the accident.

He had set off for work at 2.35am that morning.

Edwards in a prepared statement said he had had a blackout and had not seen any cyclist.

Mr Hamilton said: "The defendant had, before this incident, been through perhaps what was the most stressful experience of his life.

“He felt he had little choice other than to return to work for financial reasons, but did so at a time when his own health was suffering."

Detective Inspector Mark Rothwell, of Lancashire Police, led the investigation, and described it as a ‘tragic case all round’.

He said: “Michael Isherwood was on what most people would regard as a very safe piece of road for cycling.

“It is a long, straight and wide stretch with a clearly designated cycle lane.

“Michael was within that lane and was then catapulted 50-feet to his death by a driver who himself was under pressure through his domestic circumstances, but there was no excuse to leave the scene.

"It is a tragic case from which there is no winner.”

Comments (15)

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9:51am Wed 6 Jul 11

useyourhead says...

What a travesty!
What a travesty! useyourhead

10:09am Wed 6 Jul 11

happycyclist says...

Cyclists live are worth f*** all. We're lower than paedos and rapists in the eyes of the law. The easiest way to get away with murder in this country is to run someone over.

What sort of defence is "Was it that bump yesterday? I didn't know he was dead."?

He didn't know because he didn't bother stopping to find out. And the reason he didn't bother is because it was ONLY a cyclist. He's have probably stopped if he'd hit a dog, but a cyclist's life isn't worth the time. And the law supports this mentality. Sickening.
Cyclists live are worth f*** all. We're lower than paedos and rapists in the eyes of the law. The easiest way to get away with murder in this country is to run someone over. What sort of defence is "Was it that bump yesterday? I didn't know he was dead."? He didn't know because he didn't bother stopping to find out. And the reason he didn't bother is because it was ONLY a cyclist. He's have probably stopped if he'd hit a dog, but a cyclist's life isn't worth the time. And the law supports this mentality. Sickening. happycyclist

10:10am Wed 6 Jul 11

jaffa90 says...

Excuses,Excuses,sorr
y mate i never you,i was half asleep and should not have been driving.What a waste of a life.So sad.
Excuses,Excuses,sorr y mate i never you,i was half asleep and should not have been driving.What a waste of a life.So sad. jaffa90

10:19am Wed 6 Jul 11

bikerjohn_uk says...

Absolutely pathetic. Clearly this idiot wasn't fit to be out on the roads, yet his two-bit sob story has pulled the wool over the eyes of the police, the CPS and the judiciary. Why is it that Joe Public can see the rights and the wrongs of this case yet the people who are supposed to be representing the law cannot? It's about time that all drivers be assessed regularly both medically and psychologically as to their fitness to be in control of a motor vehicle. That way we might get rid of the brain-dead dross that make responsible road-users lives an absolute misery (and yes, I am a driver, motorcyclist and cyclist). I hope that you're happy with yourself Edwards, I really do.
Absolutely pathetic. Clearly this idiot wasn't fit to be out on the roads, yet his two-bit sob story has pulled the wool over the eyes of the police, the CPS and the judiciary. Why is it that Joe Public can see the rights and the wrongs of this case yet the people who are supposed to be representing the law cannot? It's about time that all drivers be assessed regularly both medically and psychologically as to their fitness to be in control of a motor vehicle. That way we might get rid of the brain-dead dross that make responsible road-users lives an absolute misery (and yes, I am a driver, motorcyclist and cyclist). I hope that you're happy with yourself Edwards, I really do. bikerjohn_uk

10:33am Wed 6 Jul 11

happycyclist says...

The fact is though, most people would be more concerned about the damage to their vehicle than they would be about a cyclist they'd hit. The law is only reflecting the reality of people's priorities.
The fact is though, most people would be more concerned about the damage to their vehicle than they would be about a cyclist they'd hit. The law is only reflecting the reality of people's priorities. happycyclist

10:33am Wed 6 Jul 11

karolgadge says...

This is an absolutely tragic case in which, as was said, there are no winners, only losers. My heartfelt sympathy is with the family of the cyclist.
The report above is not conclusive, however. The delivery driver is reported as having begun work (or beginning his journey to work) at 2.35 am. The accident took place at 10.20 am when the driver had already been working for 8 hours or so in an admittedly stressful state.
Why didn't his employer - who must have known the background of the driver - refuse to allow him to work if he was manifestly unfit?
I sincerely hope the police and relevant authorities investigate working conditions at this delivery company's headquarters - wherever they happen to be.
This is an absolutely tragic case in which, as was said, there are no winners, only losers. My heartfelt sympathy is with the family of the cyclist. The report above is not conclusive, however. The delivery driver is reported as having begun work (or beginning his journey to work) at 2.35 am. The accident took place at 10.20 am when the driver had already been working for 8 hours or so in an admittedly stressful state. Why didn't his employer - who must have known the background of the driver - refuse to allow him to work if he was manifestly unfit? I sincerely hope the police and relevant authorities investigate working conditions at this delivery company's headquarters - wherever they happen to be. karolgadge

11:02am Wed 6 Jul 11

Honest John says...

If he's blacking out at the wheel and killing people he should NEVER be allowed to drive again.
Beyond belief! I hope the family of the cyclist appeal the sentence.
I also hope Mr. Isherwood's family find peace
If he's blacking out at the wheel and killing people he should NEVER be allowed to drive again. Beyond belief! I hope the family of the cyclist appeal the sentence. I also hope Mr. Isherwood's family find peace Honest John

11:04am Wed 6 Jul 11

Carlost says...

What a sad story, my sympathies to Michael's family. Here we are again with killer motorists receiving no justice at all. OK he didn't set out to kill but he must have been irresponsible with a fast moving two ton machine. What example does this set for the thousands of other irresponsible drivers, that if you kill someone there is no penalty. It sounds like this driver didn't even want to take resposibility for his actions. Disgracefull justice system "again" . For a life - at least 3yrs prison and a 10yr ban.
What a sad story, my sympathies to Michael's family. Here we are again with killer motorists receiving no justice at all. OK he didn't set out to kill but he must have been irresponsible with a fast moving two ton machine. What example does this set for the thousands of other irresponsible drivers, that if you kill someone there is no penalty. It sounds like this driver didn't even want to take resposibility for his actions. Disgracefull justice system "again" . For a life - at least 3yrs prison and a 10yr ban. Carlost

11:51am Wed 6 Jul 11

rhodeislandred says...

I have no doubt this fella didnt set out to kill anyone that day but the fact is he did .
And the fact he had not one but two opportunities to pull over and fess up is then definitely culpable .
God bless the family for their tragic loss they must feel like they have been kicked in the teeth again with this verdict , disgraceful.
I have no doubt this fella didnt set out to kill anyone that day but the fact is he did . And the fact he had not one but two opportunities to pull over and fess up is then definitely culpable . God bless the family for their tragic loss they must feel like they have been kicked in the teeth again with this verdict , disgraceful. rhodeislandred

1:52pm Wed 6 Jul 11

burner says...

I have just read this story. What's going on LT? Different comments - must be upsetting to the family.
I have just read this story. What's going on LT? Different comments - must be upsetting to the family. burner

6:09pm Wed 6 Jul 11

mys says...

He should be charged with causing death by dangerous driving,loked up and made to suffer like this poor man did,who for gods sake would drive off,leaving a poor guy in the road dying,this thing makes up pathetic excuses,what the f--k or these judges being paid for eh,i hope he can live with what hes done.
He should be charged with causing death by dangerous driving,loked up and made to suffer like this poor man did,who for gods sake would drive off,leaving a poor guy in the road dying,this thing makes up pathetic excuses,what the f--k or these judges being paid for eh,i hope he can live with what hes done. mys

7:23pm Wed 6 Jul 11

gudari says...

happycyclist wrote:
Cyclists live are worth f*** all. We're lower than paedos and rapists in the eyes of the law. The easiest way to get away with murder in this country is to run someone over.

What sort of defence is "Was it that bump yesterday? I didn't know he was dead."?

He didn't know because he didn't bother stopping to find out. And the reason he didn't bother is because it was ONLY a cyclist. He's have probably stopped if he'd hit a dog, but a cyclist's life isn't worth the time. And the law supports this mentality. Sickening.
For once I have to agree with you Mr.Cyclist. I often cycle through Salterforth and I can assure you that the van-driver is lying through his teeth. The road is straight and visibility is excellent. What I don't understand is why the police have not taken this into account? Failing to stop after knocking someone down is a terribly callous thing to do. I hope he never sleeps again.
[quote][p][bold]happycyclist[/bold] wrote: Cyclists live are worth f*** all. We're lower than paedos and rapists in the eyes of the law. The easiest way to get away with murder in this country is to run someone over. What sort of defence is "Was it that bump yesterday? I didn't know he was dead."? He didn't know because he didn't bother stopping to find out. And the reason he didn't bother is because it was ONLY a cyclist. He's have probably stopped if he'd hit a dog, but a cyclist's life isn't worth the time. And the law supports this mentality. Sickening.[/p][/quote]For once I have to agree with you Mr.Cyclist. I often cycle through Salterforth and I can assure you that the van-driver is lying through his teeth. The road is straight and visibility is excellent. What I don't understand is why the police have not taken this into account? Failing to stop after knocking someone down is a terribly callous thing to do. I hope he never sleeps again. gudari

9:00pm Wed 6 Jul 11

timeforcommonsense says...

What crap. This guy has killed someone and attempted to save his own misserable hide by hiding and lying. Why isn't he serving time? Any excuse just compounds his selfishness because if he was having black outs he should have addressed the issue and had a check up.
What crap. This guy has killed someone and attempted to save his own misserable hide by hiding and lying. Why isn't he serving time? Any excuse just compounds his selfishness because if he was having black outs he should have addressed the issue and had a check up. timeforcommonsense

10:49pm Wed 6 Jul 11

moggy669 says...

Absolutely disgusting.
Absolutely disgusting. moggy669

11:30am Thu 7 Jul 11

BigOrra says...

Totally agree with all the above. The cyclist's family must be distraught after this verdict. It does not matter about the driver's personal problems, he should never have scuttled off from the scene of the accident. He should be banned for life. Keep these dangerous idiots off our roads!!
Totally agree with all the above. The cyclist's family must be distraught after this verdict. It does not matter about the driver's personal problems, he should never have scuttled off from the scene of the accident. He should be banned for life. Keep these dangerous idiots off our roads!! BigOrra

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