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Driver jailed for causing man's death on country lane in Simonstone

Friday, May 3, 2024

A speeding driver has been jailed for causing a collision which killed a man on a country road. 

Jonathan Lyle was driving a Seat Leon on Whins Lane, Simonstone, in excess of the speed limit, on the afternoon of 20th April 2022.

He went to overtake a Land Rover Defender, driven by Nicholas Starkie, which was turning off Whins Lane into Mr Starkie’s estate - and collided with the back of it.

The impact caused the Land Rover to turn on its side and the roof collided with a concrete post.

Mr Starkie, 56, very sadly died at the scene.

Witnesses described Lyle’s manner of driving leading up to and just prior to the collision, as reckless and stupid.

Lyle, 23, formerly of Newton Street, Burnley, pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving.

At Burnley Crown Court today (3rd May), he was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment and banned from driving for three years.

Passing sentence, Judge Sara Dodd described Lyle as ‘immature’ and stated the way he had driven as ‘a tragedy waiting to happen’.

Sgt Helen Parkinson of Lancashire Police’s Serious Collision Investigation Unit, said: “First and foremost my thoughts today are with the family of Mr Starkie.

“Nick was a loving husband, father, son and friend to many within the local community. 

“I hope today’s sentence will be a reminder to all drivers, but especially younger drivers, to be aware of their surroundings particularly on country lanes.  Although many lanes are governed by the national speed limit this is not always the most appropriate speed for the lay-out of the road. 

“Please drive to the conditions and slow down. It is better to get to your destination a few seconds later than to never arrive at all.”

In a statement, Mr Starkie’s family said: “The custodial sentence today will not bring Nick back, however it does provide us with some closure knowing the person responsible is now in prison.

“We hope it will serve as a strong message to those out there that driving in such a manner has consequences, and you should never think rural roads are to be used like racetracks.”