5th Jul, 2022

Driver sentenced for killing teenage cyclist in Coventry

John Carlon 20th Dec, 2019 Updated: 20th Dec, 2019

A SPEEDING driver who killed a cyclist has been jailed for five and a half years.

Ryan Willoughby-Oakes, a trainee electrician from Coventry, was 17 when he was struck by driver Tajinder Rai on Binley Road, on October 5 2018.

Following the collision at the junction of Binley Road and Allard Way, Rai, driving a Nissan GT-R, stopped at the scene and passers-by administered first aid, but Ryan died by the road.

A West Midlands Police CCTV expert calculated that Rai was travelling at a minimum speed of 67mph on the 40mph stretch immediately prior to the collision.

Following a three-day trial at Birmingham Crown Court, the 37-year-old was found guilty of death by dangerous driving on November 13.

On December 19, Rai was sentenced to five and a half years in jail. He was also disqualified from driving for 7 years and 9 months.

In an emotional statement, Ryan’s family thanked their friends for their continued support, saying: “We, Ryan’s family, are devastated. We could not face being in court but have been supported by our dear friends who have attended today and throughout the trial.

“We would like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude to the jury for their unanimous guilty verdict.

“We do not have the words to fully express the damage this has done to my family or, undoubtedly, the driver’s own family.

“We would ask everyone to think about their driving; to slow down, to realise that you are driving a lethal machine if you drive in this dangerous manner. Please drive within the speed limit, think about the environment you are driving in, expect the unexpected.

“We beg you to please remember our beautiful Ryan Joseph Willoughby Oakes’ face and realise that your actions on the road have consequences.

“Finally we would like to thank, from the bottom of our hearts, the tremendous hard work by our barrister and prosecution team, the police collision investigators, the judge and jury. Our family liaison officer and our victim support lady; your compassion is beyond words and will never be forgotten.

“Our friends have been a constant support and to those dearest ones that attended the trial on our behalf; we thank and love you. We really couldn’t have negotiated this terrible journey without you.”

Detective Sergeant Paul Hughes, from the Serious Collision Investigation Unit, said: “A teenager who had his whole life ahead of him tragically lost his life due to a motorist not following the speed limit.

“There is no excuse to be travelling at nearly 70mph in a 40mph zone; this shows the importance of obeying speed limits and if Rai had been driving at 40mph, I believe he would have been able to slow down in time to see Ryan.

“Although nothing will bring Ryan back, we hope his family find some comfort in this outcome.”

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