Rustington driver left cyclist seriously injured in hit-and-run crash in Shripney

The cyclist was left at the side of the road with bad injuries
The cyclist was left at the side of the road with bad injuries
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A driver has been sentenced for a hit-and-run crash in Shripney in which he left a cyclist seriously injured by the side of the road.

According to police, Alexander William Coombes, formerly of Worthing Road, Rustington, but now living in Guildford, Surrey, was handed a suspended jail sentence at Chichester Crown Court on Friday, December 18.

The car belonging to Alexander William Coombes. He was speeding, and the judge refused to believe he hadn't known he had hit anybody

The car belonging to Alexander William Coombes. He was speeding, and the judge refused to believe he hadn't known he had hit anybody

Coombes had admitted speeding while listening to loud music but during a special court hearing last November, the judge refused to accept his account that he hadn’t realised he had struck someone, police said.

The collision occurred at 5.45am on February 5, 2014, as Coombes was driving a blue Renault Megane north on the A29 at Shripney, Bognor Regis.

He struck a 45-year-old local man riding a bicycle and left him lying at the roadside with serious injuries.

The man sustained serious injuries and was taken to Southampton General Hospital where he underwent several operations and months of rehabilitation.

Coombes pleaded guilty to dangerous driving, careless driving, failing to stop after an accident and having no insurance.

On Friday he was sentenced to three months’ imprisonment, suspended for 12 months; ordered to complete 140 hours of unpaid work for the community; disqualified from driving for 15 months and required to take an extended re-test.

He was also ordered to pay £6,382 compensation to the victim and costs totalling £3,500.

Following the sentence, Sergeant Rob Baldwin, of the Sussex Roads Policing Unit, said: “It would have been obvious to Coombes that he had been involved in a serious collision.

“But he failed to stop, leaving the cyclist seriously injured at the side of the road and in need of urgent medical attention.

“Fortunately we were able to quickly identify the vehicle and driver involved and officers found the Megane abandoned some five miles away in Barnham with serious damage.

“It was clear that Coombes had driven his vehicle in a dangerous condition over this distance, with an obliterated tyre, damaged wing mirror and missing bodywork.”

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