Jail for driver who killed cyclist while on drugs

A skip loader driver who was under the influence of drugs when he failed to give way at a junction and killed a cyclist has been jailed for three and a half years.

Tests showed Joseph Large was over the limit for both cocaine and cannabis when the Volvo truck he was driving hit Paul Thompson in Bilston, Wolverhampton in November 2018. 

Thompson suffered crush injuries and died at the scene.

CCTV from a nearby premises showed Thompson cycling towards the junction, with the skip loader emerging from the left, and without stopping the lorry pulled out knocking down the 50-year-old cyclist.

Large, 30, admitted during interview that he had taken cocaine the previous Saturday evening. 

Forensic tests confirmed he was over the limit for both cocaine and cannabis - with the cocaine result being over three times the permitted limit. 

He said the reason he did not see Thompson was because the sun was glaring in his eyes as he looked right. 

Large denied causing death by careless driving while under the influence of drugs but following a trial he was convicted (CM 16 January).

PC David Crump, of the serious collision investigation unit, said: “As a professional lorry driver, Large’s driving should have been of the very highest standards. 

“But he got behind the wheel of a 32-tonne lorry having previously consumed cocaine and as a result of his actions Mr Thompson sadly lost his life.

“We would urge anyone to think twice before driving if they have had alcohol or taken drugs, as they can be putting the lives of other people in danger, as well as putting their own safety at risk.”