A delivery driver who was on his phone in his van when he ploughed into a biker, killing him instantly, has been jailed for three and a half years.
Daniaal Iqbal of Toller Lane, Bradford, was using Snapchat when his white Ford Transit van hit Peter Rushforth on Kirkby Road in Ripon on Saturday 21 September 2019.
Iqbal had just made a delivery to a nearby farm. As he rounded a corner, he collided with Mr Rushforth who was travelling towards Ripon on his blue GSXR Suzuki motorbike.
The impact of the collision killed Mr Rushforth, from Ripon, instantly.
Iqbal was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and his mobile phone was seized and taken in for forensic examination.
Piecing together data extracted from his phone by the North Yorkshire Police digital forensic unit, the force’s major collision investigators found evidence that Iqbal had been interacting with his phone all along Kirby Road.
He had also launched navigation apps while driving.
Crucially, investigators found evidence that the phone’s camera had been accessed by the Snapchat application just seconds prior to the collision, as Iqbal sent a message.
Detective Sergeant Kirsten Aldridge of the Major Collision Investigation Team said: “From the seconds after the collision which killed Mr Rushforth, Iqbal denied any responsibility for the collision – categorically stating he was not using his phone.
“However, our experienced digital forensic investigators found unquestionable evidence to challenge Daniaal Iqbal’s claims.
“This is yet another fatal collision caused by a driver who refused to listen to the warnings about the risk of using a mobile while driving and chose to blatantly disregard the law.
“Very sadly it’s Peter Rushforth who has paid the price for Daniaal Iqbal’s poor decision-making.
“To lose someone in a traffic collision is devastating. But to know that it was entirely avoidable and was caused by someone who believed sending a message was more important than their safety is galling.
“I hope the sentence handed to Daniaal Iqbal makes those drivers who may take that chance and use their mobile behind the wheel just stop and think for a moment. When you’re driving, please put your phone away – another person’s life could depend on it.”