Norfolk

Van driver jailed for killing cyclist near King's Lynn

B1145 Gayton Road at Bawsey Image copyright Google
Image caption Sam McDonald's van hit cyclist Darren Orpwood at one of three dips in the road known as the Bawsey Bumps

A van driver who killed a cyclist while speeding through an accident blackspot has been jailed for six years.

Darren Orpwood, 35, died after being hit on the "Bawsey Bumps" near King's Lynn in October 2016.

Sam McDonald, 24, of Rawhall Lane, Bittering, reached speeds of up to 82mph on the 50mph-limit B1145.

McDonald was convicted of causing death by dangerous driving following a trial in June and has been sentenced at Norwich Crown Court.

The judge heard McDonald, who worked as an electrician, already had 11 points on his licence for speeding, just one point away from a ban.

The court heard he had been late for work in King's Lynn and three drivers on the B1145 told the trial they were shocked when McDonald's van overtook all three of them at once.

'Acceptable' speed

Minutes later, at about 06:30 BST, he reached a series of three dips, known locally as the Bawsey Bumps.

He struck Mr Orpwood while driving "in excess of 60mph" in dark and damp conditions.

Mr Orpwood, who was heading to work at DFS in King's Lynn, was flung 30m (100ft) into a tree, prosecutor Karl Volz said.

It took more than an hour to find his body in undergrowth.

McDonald, who told the court he was unaware he had hit anything, drove on for three quarters of a mile until a puncture forced him to stop.

The court heard he walked to the crash site and admitted his culpability.

In evidence, he said his driving had been "usual" for him, and 80mph was acceptable, even in darkness, if the road was straight.

His guilty plea to a lesser charge of death by careless driving was not accepted by prosecutors.

He was also banned from driving for five years.

The court heard street lighting had been added since Mr Orpwood's death, and undergrowth cut back.

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