Woman jailed after hitting three cyclists and ‘leaving them for dead’

A hairdresser from Cwmbran has been sentenced to more than two years in jail after hitting three cyclists who she then “left for dead”.

Newport Crown Court heard how Louise Griffiths drove away from the scene in Usk on 3 February after hitting the group.

46-year-old Louise Griffiths had been drinking alcohol the night of 2 February and had also been drinking the next day leading up to the incident.

The court heard she was later found asleep at her home by police after the incident.

She pleaded guilty to causing serious injury by dangerous driving and dangerous driving.

One of the cyclists has been left with life-changing injuries.

Ms Griffiths had been attending a party with her boyfriend until 1am the night before where she drank a combination of gin, white wine and jaeger bombs.

The next day she drove her boyfriend’s VW to two different pubs where she drank more alcohol.

Husband and wife Gerald and Katherine Barnes were out cycling with Katherine’s sister and her partner who were all training for a triathlon.

The group were cycling in single file on Llanllowell Lane in Usk when they spotted the car “driving like a lunatic” and “over the white line”.

Louise Griffiths

All of the group apart from Mr Barnes were hit by Ms Griffiths’ car.

Katherine Barnes had to perform lifesaving treatment on her sister, Caroline, who lay “lifeless” on the road.

Caroline fractured her spine and pelvis and can now not walk unaided. She also has limited feeling below her right knee.

Caroline’s boyfriend, Martin Burrows, also suffered a serious soft tissue injury.

Dr Barnes told the court she will never forget the image of her sister “lying lifeless at the side of the road”.

The fact we were left for dead at the roadside is something I will never come to terms with and struggle to understand.

My life was changed forever when I was hit by that car.


Ms Griffiths claims she saw a rabbit in the road, which is what cause her to drive into the cyclists.

After hitting the group, Ms Griffiths drove away only to abandon her car and get her son to give her a lift home.

Police found her later asleep at her house where they tested her blood for alcohol.

Ms Griffiths was under the legal limit for alcohol with 33mg per 100ml in her system. The legal limit is 80mg.

Experts estimate she may have been over the legal limit at the time of the incident but cannot prove this.

Ms Griffiths has been jailed for two years and three months for causing serious injury by dangerous driving and dangerous driving. She was also banned from driving for four years.

Judge Daniel Williams described Ms Griffiths as “beyond heartless” for deciding to drive away from the scene.

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