Biker-killing 10mph motorway driver gets 20 months

Driver swerved across the path of a biker to take a motorway exit

A DRIVER who killed a biker on the M65 motorway when he swerved to take an exit and 'violently' slowed to 10mph, has been jailed for 20-months.

Mark Walsh, 35, of Balliol Close, Padiham, slammed on his brakes of his Vauxhall Insignia and slowed to 10mph, causing 41-year-old Peter Sarchet to brake hard on his Yamaha and lose control. Biker Sarchet ended up trapped underneath Walsh's car and died of his injuries.

Walsh told police that he had been travelling at 70mph on the M65 but had moved across to take the exit to the M61 where he braked to 10mph. He said he heard a loud bang at the back of the vehicle, but could not remember feeling the impact. His car stalled and when he started it, a man ran along the hard shoulder shouting to him not to drive it. A passing RAC van jacked up Walsh's car in a bid to free Mr Sarchet.

Walsh denied the allegation and did not give evidence in his defence during the four-day trial at Burnley Crown Court when he was found guilty of causing death by dangerous driving.
Prosecutor Robert Elias told Preston Crown Court: “The defendant all but stopped and was inviting catastrophe. No competent driver would consciously drive at less than 10mph on the motorway.

MrSarchet's widow Jill said: “Peter was a devoted family man and lived for his children. He was loving, loyal, very hard-working and the core of our family.

“Everything he did was selfless and our loss cannot be described. He will be missed beyond words.”