Norwich man jailed after admitting killing ‘fun-loving’ father-to-be in crash
PUBLISHED: 07:24 04 December 2018 | UPDATED: 11:41 04 December 2018
A Norwich man who killed a “fun-loving” father-to-be in a crash before fleeing the scene in his van and telling bosses he had hit a deer has been jailed.
Ricardas Taraska, 23, was driving on the A1307 in Cambridge when he hit motorcyclist Mathew Smyth travelling towards the Dean Road crossroads near Linton.
Cambridge Crown Court heard Taraska, a delivery driver from Pinder Road, Norwich, pulled out of a give way junction into the path of Mr Smyth on his Yamaha motorbike.
The 25-year-old died at the scene as a result of his injuries following the crash which happened at about 3.17am on August 29 this year.
Taraska, 23, who later told his bosses he had “hit a deer”, failed to stop and continued east towards Haverhill.
Following Mr Smyth’s death his family shared their devastation that the “most amazing, cheeky, fun-loving young man” would now never get to meet his unborn child.
Taraska was jailed for 14 months on Monday (December 3) after previously admitting causing death by careless driving.
He was also disqualified from driving for 31 months, after which he must take an extended re-test.
Inspector Chris Huggins said: “This is a heartbreaking case in which one person’s careless driving resulted in the death of a 25-year-old man with his whole life ahead of him.
“It is vital that people drive in a safe and considerate way in order to prevent awful instances like this occurring in the future.”
The court had heard Taraska was traced after a police forensic collision investigator and scenes of crime officer identified pieces of light cluster fragments from the crash debris as being from a Mercedes Sprinter van.
The van belonged to Roadrunner Express in Norwich with Taraska being identified as the driver and subsequently arrested.
In police interview, Taraska said he was driving the van and pulled out of the give way junction because he thought the motorcyclist was turning left.
When interviewed by police he told officers he heard a loud bang but did not know what happened.
Taraska claimed he stopped for no more than 30 seconds but did not get out because he was shaken and scared.