A LORRY driver involved in a hit-and-run collision in which a Shropshire cyclist was killed has escaped an immediate prison sentence.
Mark Baker, 40, had continued his journey to Wrexham in his delivery lorry after he struck the victim on the A49 in Shropshire in June last year.
Cyclist Michael Saunders died instantly after being hit by Baker's HGV lorry between Dorrington and Leebotwood.
He was cycling home after a night shift at Mr Bun the Bakers in Church Stretton where he had worked for 20 years.
At Shrewsbury Crown Court Baker was given a 26-month prison term suspended for a year having admitted causing the death of 61-year-old Mr Saunders by careless driving.
Judge Jonathan Gosling told Baker that his negligence had had terrible consequences.
"No sentence I pass can put the clock back, nor can it give any comfort to Mr Saunders’ family and friends. His family have been left bereft by his loss,” he said.
Baker, of Clarence Street, Mountain Ash, Glamorgan, was also ordered to complete 200 hours unpaid work. He was disqualified from driving for two years and must complete an extended driving test to regain his licence.
The court heard that the incident happened in the early hours of June 23 last year as Mr Saunders, who lived at Bayston Hill, near Shrewsbury, was cycling home.
The defendant's lorry was later identified by police from a headlight washer blanking plate found at the roadside.
Huw Evans, for Baker, said his client had not seen Mr Saunders and had not realised that he had hit the cyclist.
“He can only think that he was dazzled by on-coming traffic. His thoughts are very much with the family of Mr Baker and acknowledged the ordeal they have had to go through,” he said.