Case Study

Tarsem Dari killed in collision with lorry in West London - driver arrested

Incident date: 
Thu, 5 Jul 2012

60-year old Tarsem Dari was hit by a lorry on the Uxbridge Road in Southall on the 5th July. The 34-year-old driver has been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving.

The lorry involved was a four-axle tipper truck.

  • UPDATE (16/01/14)

The driver was originally arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving but was allowed to admit the lesser charge of causing death by careless driving. He was also charged with several tachograph offences.

He originally pleaded not guilty to causing death by careless driving but changed his plea just days before his trial.

Mr Dari’s family was unaware of the development and only learned of the driver’s change of plea, made at a pre-trial hearing on January 13, when contacted by the Evening Standard.

Mr Dari was hit as the lorry driver turned a corner in his four-axle tipper lorry and failed to see Mr Dari continuing straight on.

  • UPDATE (27/01/14)

The lorry driver, Paul O’Callaghan, will be sentenced on February 14th at Isleworth Crown Court.

  • UPDATE (10/03/14)

O’Callaghan was given a nine month jail sentence suspended for two years. He was also ordered to do 250 hours of unpaid work, to pay a victim surcharge of £100 and was disqualified from driving for 18 months.

Mr Dari’s daughter, Kiran Dari Bihal, 38, said: “How can this sentence be justified? It doesn’t fit the crime. There is a lot of work going into improving cycle safety, but what is the point if the sentence is so lenient for drivers who hit a cyclist?

“My mum is so distraught and so am I and my four siblings. It’s so painful. We are all drivers and you have an obligation to drive safely and check your mirrors. If you don’t, there should be a suitable sentence.”

“Dad was an experienced cyclist and used his bike for short distances,” Ms Bihal said. “He was a careful man and would tell us not to wear headphones as we crossed the road. My brother would worry and tell my dad to cycle on the pavement if it was dangerous, but he said he didn’t want to break the law.

“This sentence is just such a slap in the face. The driver said he should have seen my dad. Just because he was indicating doesn’t give him right of way over a cyclist or a pedestrian. The streets need to be made safer. We just have no provision for cyclists here.”

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