Death crash driver who fled is jailed

Paul Wood (left) killed by Heath Cooksey (right)

Paul Wood, 23, (left) was killed when he was knocked off his motorcycle and left to die. The man who drove off, Heath Cooksey (right), has been jailed. - Credit: Family/Cambs Police

A disqualified driver who caused a crash and then left a motorcyclist to die has been jailed. 

Heath Cooksey, 53, was driving his housemate’s Range Rover on the A505, near Dottrell Hall Farm, when the collision happened at about 7am on May 24, 2019. 


The victim, Paul Wood, 23, of Duxford, was overtaking when Cooksey turned right, knocking him from his white Kawasaki bike. 


Cooksey pulled over and spoke to a passer-by but left the scene before emergency services arrived. 


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Officers and paramedics attempted to save the victim’s life but he was pronounced dead at the scene. 


A manhunt ensued, involving a police helicopter, dog unit and officers on foot, but it was later discovered Cooksey had fled the county. 


Cooksey later handed himself in at Romford Police Station, and was charged with causing death by careless driving while uninsured and disqualified. 


Cooksey, of St Neots Road, Romford, was found guilty following a trial at Cambridge Crown Court and was today ( May 7) jailed for three years at the same court.  

He was also disqualified from driving for 54 months and ordered to sit an extended re-test. 


Sergeant Mark Dollard, of the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Road Policing Unit, said: “Cooksey failed to take sufficient care in judging the distance and speed, then compounded his callous actions by fleeing the scene and leaving Mr Wood for dead. 


“Furthermore, Cooksey was disqualified from driving and should have never been behind the wheel in the first place. 


"Motorists have a responsibility to be careful and aware of vulnerable road users such as motorcyclists. And those involved in a collision should never flee the scene, as we will do all we can to catch them. 


"Mr Wood’s family showed dignity and resolve during the investigation and trial and hope this conviction brings an element of closure and they can move on with the grieving process.”