Drunk driver who hit and killed cyclist at up to 90mph sentenced to six years in prison

Cyclist Thomas Dunleavy was killed instantly in crash

(Photo: Lonpicman/CC3.0)

A drunk driver who hit and killed a cyclist while driving at speeds of up to 90mph in a built-up area has been sentenced to six years in prison.

Alexander Organ, 23, killed cyclist Thomas Dunleavy, 48, as he sped through the streets of Cheltenham in June 2017, hitting Mr Dunleavy at such speed that he was killed instantly in the collision.

Organ then drove away from the scene but was still over the drink-drive limit when he was arrested nearly two hours later.

>>> Prison sentence for sleeping driver after horrific crash which sent cyclist somersaulting into air

Gloucestershire Live reports that Organ had met his father at a pub for a drink before driving home, with witnesses telling Gloucester Crown Court that they estimated that Organ had been driving at up to 90mph along Priors Road in Cheltenham, which has a 30mph limit.

Approaching a traffic island, witnesses reported seeing Organ drive onto the wrong side of the road, clipping the kerb before colliding head-on with Mr Dunleavy who was cycling in the opposite direction.

Arrested nearly two hours after the crash, Organ was found to be very slightly over the drink-drive limit, with an expert witness telling the court that he was most likely at double the drink-drive limit when he crashed into Mr Dunleavy.

>>> Car passenger who threw 'oven cleaner' over cyclist in road rage attack sentenced to litter-picking

Organ also gave no comment to the police when he was arrested, only admitting that he was behind the wheel at the time of the crash in an interview three months later.

Steve Young, defending, said that Organ's refusal to comment was on the advice of a solicitor, and that he was genuinely remorseful about the crash. In court Organ admitted causing death by dangerous driving, being over the drink-drive limit, and failing to stop at the site of a collision.

However Judge Ian Lawrie took little sympathy on Organ, describing his actions as an "appalling piece of driving over half a mile at those speeds and in those conditions in an urban area" as he was sentenced to six years in prison.

Thank you for reading 10 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Henry Robertshaw began his time at Cycling Weekly working with the tech team, writing reviews, buying guides and appearing in videos advising on how to dress for the seasons. He later moved over to the news team, where his work focused on the professional peloton as well as legislation and provision for cycling. He's since moved his career in a new direction, with a role at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.