HGV driver killed elderly cyclist in 'wholly avoidable' crash

Gediminas Nagulevicius was jailed for 12 months at Ipswich Crown Court

Gediminas Nagulevicius was jailed for 12 months at Ipswich Crown Court - Credit: Suffolk police

A lorry driver who killed an elderly cyclist in a "wholly avoidable" crash at a junction near her home has been jailed for 12 months. 

Gediminas Nagulevicius, 38, was driving a Renault HGV pulling an unladen tanker trailer in Bungay on May 28, 2019, when he failed to see great-grandmother Sheila Holmes, 74, on her bike

Nagulevicius was travelling on the B1062 when he got to the Hillside Road junction with St John's Road around 2.30pm, Ipswich Crown Court heard. 

Mrs Holmes, who was wearing a bright red coat, was travelling along the A144 when she was struck and was killed as a result of the collision. 

The court heard that Nagulevicius slowed on the approach to the junction but tachograph analysis did not show if the lorry stopped. 

Nagulevicius repeatedly told people who stopped to help at the scene: "I don't know where she came from."

Sheila Holmes. PHOTO: Courtesy of Holmes family

Sheila Holmes was tragically killed in the collision in Bungay - Credit: Archant

Sentencing Nagulevicius on Friday, Judge Martyn Levett told him: "I conclude your attention must have been focused on other things, whether the cars approaching from your left, whether you failed to look right again before pulling forward, whether you didn’t stop at the junction but risked not stopping and carelessly continued to cross the road." 

Nagulevicius, of Greenland Avenue, King's Lynn, previously denied a more serious charge of causing death by dangerous driving, and a trial was set to take place. 

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But at a further case management hearing in November, he pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of causing death by careless driving, which was accepted by prosecutors. 

The court previously heard victim impact statements from Mrs Holmes' family. 

They described their lives being "changed forever" by the tragic incident and the "horrific and agonising loss" of their much-loved mother and grandmother. 

Judge Levett added: "This case is a lesson for every driver of an HGV, whether experienced or in training.

"These types of road user now has a warning about the dangers which exist when approaching a main road from a side road junction and the significant risk taken by not stopping or keeping a very careful lookout for others." 

He added: "This was a wholly avoidable collision." 

Nagulevicius was jailed for 12 months and will have to serve half of his sentence before his release on licence.

He was also banned from driving for three years and six months.