Polish National Miroslaw Chlap Was Hit By A Car While Cycling Home From Work
The family of a father-of-two killed while cycling home from the hotel he worked at in Knutsford have spoken out after the driver of the car that hit him was sentenced after being found guilty.
Miroslaw Chlap, known to friends and family as Mirek, was a Polish national working in the UK at the Cottons Hotel in Knutsford.
Mirek suffered fatal injuries after he was struck by a car as he was cycling home from the hotel on 4th September 2016. After finishing at 10pm, he began to cycle home, when shortly after he was hit by a Volkswagen driven by the defendant, Melissa Darbyshire, on Manchester Road.
Today, at Chester Crown Court, Darbyshire, 33, from Knutsford, was given an eight-year custodial sentence, serving four years, and a nine-year driving disqualification.
Darbyshire previously pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving on 25th June, but gave a not guilty plea to a drink-driving charge. On 2nd July, Darbyshire was found guilty of this charge.
Mother-of-two Darbyshire, collided with Mirek while driving home from a friend’s home and failed to stop after the incident. Mirek hit the windscreen, with the impact putting him into the hedgerow lining to road. He was found by another driver who noticed his bike in the road.
Following the incident, Mirek’s wife, Nina Chlap, instructed specialist lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to act on behalf of the family through the legal process.
Keith Cundall, the road accident specialist at Irwin Mitchell representing Nina, said: “Road safety is a cause we are passionate about, as at Irwin Mitchell we see on a daily basis the impact that collisions like this can have on people’s lives.
“Unfortunately, this is a heart-breaking example of the devastating, fatal consequences of this kind of collision and of drivers failing to be fully aware of other road users.
“Due to the actions of one person, two sons are now left without their father and a wife is left without her husband.
“Nothing is more important than your own safety and the safety of others on the roads. It is vital that people remember this while driving, especially when driving in the dark.
“We will continue to work with Nina and the family to ensure they receive all the support they need following this sentencing.”
Mirek had moved to the country in 2012 and began working at Cottons Hotel the same year. He had been intending to return home to Poland this year. He came to the country to work and earn money to build a home for his family back in Poland. He would travel back to see his family at numerous times throughout the year.
Mirek was widely respected at work after working his way up from kitchen porter to chef while at the Hotel, with the firm paying for his building works to be completed back in Poland.
Nina, mother to Mirek’s two children, Konrad and Ernest, said: “The whole family is still devastated by Mirek’s death. We are still trying to come to terms with his death.
“Mirek was a peaceful and cheerful person, who was always smiling and would help anyone who needed it. He was interested in sports, history and enjoyed reading books. He didn’t deserve this.
“While today’s sentencing gives us some relief that justice has been served, we remain angry and sad that we have lost a great man, a loving husband and father. His death has given us all a life-sentence and we all continue to miss him.
“As a family, we would also like to thank the police officers, the wider team, and prosecutors, for the effort they have put in for Mirek. We would particularly like to thank the family liaison officers for being so supportive and going above and beyond for us. We are very grateful.”