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.”