Men Jailed for Seriously Injuring Woman

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Used a Coventry Road as a Racetrack

Two drivers have been sent to prison after a woman cyclist was left seriously injured in a collision caused after they were racing each other on a Coventry road.

 

The collision took place on Thursday 6 June 2013 at 11.10pm as the two cars were racing along Holyhead Road near to Grayswood Avenue in Coundon.


Mum of two, Helen Beere, aged 40 from Coventry, was left with serious multiple injuries following the accident, from which she is still recovering.


Keith Riley, 31, from Evenlode Crescent in Coundon, Coventry was sentenced to 28 months in prison at Warwick Crown Court on Friday 4 April after earlier pleading guilty to causing serious injury whilst dangerous driving.


Anas Raja, 22, from Cambridge Street, Hillfields was sentenced to 18 months for dangerous driving and no insurance.

The collision took place as Helen rode her pedal cycle home after visiting friends for the evening.


As she reached the junction with Holyhead Road and Grayswood Avenue, the two cars, a silver Seat Leon driven by Riley and a silver Vauxhall Vectra driven by Raja accelerated along Holyhead Road out of city towards Grayswood Avenue.


As the cars approached the traffic lights controlled junction, the cyclist was crossing the road when she was struck by the Seat Leon, causing her bike to break into two pieces.


Riley then left the scene, returning around half an hour later. Raja did stop following the collision and called the ambulance.

 

Helen was taken to Walsgrave Hospital where she was treated for serious multiple injuries including a broken collar bone, broken arm and shattered elbow, broken legs and cuts and bruising.


PC Craig Graves from the Force Traffic Unit said: “The particular section of the Holyhead Road is a 30mph restricted road and the two drivers have very foolishly decided to race one another whilst heading out of city. It is estimated that both vehicles were travelling at speeds more consistent with that of a motorway and way in excess of 70mph. This has shown a total disregard for other road users be they motorists or pedestrians.


“It is extremely fortunate that this has not resulted in a fatality. I would like to thank all the witnesses who came forward at the time as their help as clearly assisted in a successful prosecution. These sentences should serve as a warning to anyone who thinks they can use a public road as a race track.”


Helen said: “I am pleased with the result, it has been a long journey and I am still undergoing physio and treatment for my injuries. The collision had a huge impact on my life and my family’s life and I would like to thank the police for their support.”

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