Birmingham BMW driver jailed for killing motorcyclist

A MAN has been jailed after his erratic driving while over the alcohol limit culminated in a crash that killed a motorcyclist in the Cotswolds earlier this year.

Yasen Yanev, 34 and of Tanhouse Avenue in Birmingham, was sentenced to three years in prison, with a further three years on licence for causing death by dangerous driving and driving over the prescribed limit of alcohol.

Before the collision he had been seen drinking at a nearby pub for several hours. 

Yanev, who appeared at Gloucester Crown Court today, was also disqualified from driving for nine years and four months and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £190.

Police were called to the A429 High Street in Moreton-in-Marsh at around 8.30pm on Saturday, June 11 after Yanev collided with 54-year-old motorcyclist Mike Molina.

Mr Molina sadly died at the scene as a result of his injuries.

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Yasen Yanev custody imageYasen Yanev custody image

Molina was travelling along the stretch of road when Yanev, who was driving at excessive speed on the wrong side, went straight over the mini-roundabout he was navigating.

The speed and force of the impact caused Molina to be thrown from his motorcycle, which careered into a parked car a considerable distance away. 

Yanev was breathalysed by officers and blew over the permitted alcohol limit.

Enquiries in the surrounding area found that Yanev was driving erratically in the lead up to the collision after drinking at a pub in Stow-on-the-Wold.

Officers from the Constabulary’s Roads Policing Unit viewed CCTV from the pub showing Yanev repeatedly buy alcohol for him and his friend over a four-hour timeframe before getting into his car and driving away. 

As part of the initial investigation over thirty witnesses were spoken to and many stated how Yanev had overtaken multiple vehicles and travelled on the wrong side of the road. 

Others described his BMW Z4 as travelling at a very high speed, well above the 20mph limit for the stretch of road.

Dashcam footage from motorists travelling at the time, which corroborated this, was shown to the sentencing judge.

Yanev had previously appeared on Friday, July 15 where he pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving and driving over the prescribed limit of alcohol.

PC Shelley Holloway, the investigating officer from the Serious Collision Investigation Team, said: “I am pleased with this conviction as not once did Yanev think about the consequences of his actions that evening.

“After colliding with Mr Molina he exited his BMW whilst his passenger was still trapped inside.

“He then started to walk away before attempting to run from the scene.

“Members of the public took hold of him to prevent him from leaving whilst officers were on route and I would like to thank them for this.

“The most vital piece of dashcam footage was given to us by one of the witnesses and showed Mr Molina to be visible and driving at a slow speed before the collision.

“He was clearly indicating and negotiating the roundabout lawfully when intoxicated Yanev drove at high speed on the wrong side of the road and straight over the roundabout colliding with him.

“This dangerous behaviour resulted in the tragic loss of life and I hope that other motorists remember this incident when deciding if they should drink and drive.

“Our thoughts and condolences remain with that of Mr Molina’s family and friends and the wider community in Moreton-in-Marsh who have been affected by this incident.”

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard: Mike Molina tribute photoMike Molina tribute photo

Mr Molina’s wife Carmela provided a victim impact statement saying: “Since this incident my world has been changed forever.

“We have no children but we had each other. Michael was not only my husband but my best friend. We had such a tight bond and went everywhere together.

“For over 29 years, we have been a devoted couple with plans for our future. In one terrible moment, all of this and the life we knew has gone.

“Michael has been taken from me and our families needlessly and I am now having to live alone.

My life, my health and my financial situation have been altered for the rest of my life.

“All that we held dear has gone and I shall have a longing for my loving husband every day of my life.

“I, Michael’s family and my family are suffering and have been emotionally damaged forever. I work part time. Michael was the main provider. We have a mortgage that I am going to have to deal with. The emotional impact is that I carry permanent emotional scars.

“When this happened Michael’s mother was in hospital, Michael’s father has been battling an illness and my mother has recently had surgery but Michael helped them all around the home and garden when needed.

“Michael also helped many other people, both in a practical and spiritual way. He touched many lives. I am going to have to live with the results of the irresponsible actions of a complete stranger so please do not let Michael’s life have been in vain.”

Following the conclusion of the court case Mr Molina’s family issued the following tribute: “The fact that Mike’s life has been taken in the cruellest and most unnecessary way is the hardest thing to accept.

“His parents gave him life, taught him how to become a responsible adult and when he wanted a motorbike at age seventeen, they insisted that he did all the training available, even though it was not required at the time.

“However, all that training and experience could not protect him against Mr Yanev who chose to drive at that ludicrous speed, arrogantly showing contempt for the law and total disregard for the safety of everyone around him.

“To see how this has affected our family is heart-breaking. We have now lost an amazing role model, someone who was there for everyone no matter what.

“Mike was a kind hearted person, a person we can never get back because of a drunk driver. Mike meant a lot to many people who will forever be saddened by this event that could have been so easily avoided by a simple phone call for a taxi.

“We all wish this had never happened and Mr Yanev had thought before he got into that car.

“We cannot understand why someone would get into a car under the influence or Yanev’s utter disregard for people’s safety by speeding at an excessive amount.

“Yanev’s arrogance and selfish actions have completely destroyed our family. We just hope people will learn from his actions to never drive under the influence or speed.

“We wish to extend our thanks to; all the people of Moreton-in-Marsh who tried to help Mike at the scene and paid their tributes afterwards, the emergency services who attended the scene, the Cotswold Bikers for their tribute to Mike and Gloucestershire Constabulary for their continued help.”

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