Speeding driver jailed after fleeing scene of road death

Wayne Carroll.
Wayne Carroll.
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A speeding driver who fled after knocking down and killing a man as he walked home from a night out has been jailed.

Wayne Carroll had no driving licence and no insurance for the vehicle when he struck Anthony Rhodes and caused him multiple injuries.

Mr Rhodes died soon after the collision which took place yards from his home in the village of Havercroft, near Wakefield.

A court heard how Mr Rhodes’s partner and family have been left devastated by the popular 25-year-old’s death.

Mr Rhodes and been enjoying a drink with his brother and a friend in Havercroft Sports and Social Club moments before the tragedy.

The three men were walking along Cow Lane when Carroll’s Citroen Saxo struck Mr Rhodes close to a bus shelter where the road narrowed.

Carroll, 25, initially stopped the vehicle but then left.

Mr Rhodes’s mother Wendy, his partner Abbie Wilson and neighbours went to help him as he lay fatally injuried. Paramedics attended the scene but he was pronounced dead soon after the collision, which took place around 11pm on September 4 last year.

Carroll was arrested at his home hours later. Accident investigators estimated Carroll had been travelling around 53mph at the time of the collision. The speed limit for the road is 30mph.

Carroll, of Eveline Street, Cudworth, Barnsley, told officers he had left the scene in panic. He pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving, having no insurance and no licence.

Leeds Crown Court heard moving statements read on behalf of Miss Wilson and Mr Rhodes’s father John.

The couple had recently bought their own home and were planning to starting a family. Mr Rhodes had built up a successful flooring business.

Miss Wilson said: “Anthony was very well liked and loved in the community.”

The court heard the village came to a “stand still” on the day of his funeral. A banner was displayed which read: “Known by many, loved by all.”

Miss Wilson added: “Anthony was my everything.”

Richard Barradell, mitigating, said Carroll had failed to see Mr Rhodes in the road. He added that Carroll had not left the scene in order to evade justice but because he was frightened.

The barrister said: “Understandably emotions were running high and things were being shouted.

“He was shocked, he was panicking and he was frightened and that’s why he left the scene. He is ashamed of that.”

Referring to the devastation the tragedy had caused to Mr Rhodes’s loved ones, he added: “He is truly sorry for their loss. It won’t make it any better for them but it is better said than not said.”

Carroll was jailed for 27 months and banned from driving for four years.

The Recorder of Leeds, judge Peter Collier, QC, said: “The clear conclusion that I must draw is that neither of them saw each other or, if they had, misjudged what the other was about to do.”