Driver who killed veteran on A303 in Wiltshire given 16-year jail sentence

A motorist who killed a veteran after hitting him with his car on the A303 in Wiltshire has been given a 16 year prison sentence.

Tarkan Agca, 24, of Crusader Way in Watford, pleaded guilty to manslaughter in December, admitting his role in the death of Andrzej Szaruta back in June last year.

He was remanded in custody and sentenced at Winchester Crown Court – handed a 16-year prison sentence, of which five years will be served on licence. Agca was categorised as a dangerous offender, which will help further protect the public by putting in place strict guidelines around his eventual parole and management upon release. He was also banned from driving for three years upon his release and his vehicle, a silver BMW, will now be destroyed.

On the afternoon of June 21, Mr Szaruta, who was known as Andy, was driving his wife and daughter from their home in Bridgwater, Somerset, to London to see his son for a belated Father’s Day celebration.

Agca had been tailgating Mr Szaruta’s silver Mercedes for some time along the eastbound carriageway of the A303. At around 4.45pm both cars pulled over on the slip road exit for Solstice Park near Amesbury and Mr Szaruta got out of his car and walked towards the BMW to speak to the driver.

But as he approached Agca’s vehicle, Agca accelerated into him, hitting Mr Szaruta and causing fatal injuries. Agca then drove off at speed along the eastbound carriageway. Mr Szaruta, who was 63, was flown to hospital but sadly died from his injuries two days later.

Agca was arrested in Watford the day after the collision and his car was later found abandoned in a nearby town.

Detective Chief Inspector Darren Hannant, from the Brunel Major Crime Investigation Team, said: “Agca is a dangerous offender, who had a history of road rage and previous convictions for similar crimes elsewhere in the country.

“I have no doubt that he poses a risk to the public, so welcome the decision to put him behind bars for a significant length of time.

“This was an horrific crime, made all the more distressing by the fact that Mr Szaruta’s wife and daughter were in their car at the time of the incident and witnessed him being struck by Agca’s vehicle and then left fatally injured on the road.

“My thoughts are with both of them, along with his son and their wider family, at the end of what has been a difficult and traumatic process.”

Mr Szaruta’s son Christian has released the following statement on behalf of the family:

“My dad was truly an upstanding person, never failing to brighten a room with his ear to ear smile and would bring laughter to many.

“During a distinguished career in the Royal Marines he served in the Falkland’s, Bosnia, and two tours of Northern Ireland flying helicopters after joining the Army Air Corps as part of his service. Even after being shot down during one of his tours in Northern Ireland he continued to serve his country for another 10 years.

“Our family was always his priority, particularly after spending so much time away in the Marines. He always supported us tremendously, in particular in my racing activities, where he would take time off of work to drive for hours to various race circuits across the country, even coming home from holidays abroad early to do so, just to be there and support me.

“He was a thoughtful and loving husband to my mum and would always go out of his way to help others. He took this with him to the very end, changing three people’s lives for the better through organ donation, something which gave us some great comfort in knowing.

“The outpouring of support we have received has been overwhelming and we would like to thank all of our friends and family who have stood by us throughout this difficult period.

“Trying to take some positives from such an awful situation we decided to put forward a fund raiser for the air ambulance service and the Southampton Hospital neurological unit in intensive care where he received an exemplary level of service and assistance. We have seen an incredible response with over £6,000 raised so far.

“We would also like to all of those who stopped at the roadside to help my Dad, and take care of my Mum and sister in the immediate aftermath, and particularly thank the team at Wiltshire Police for their swift response after the incident and there extensive and diligent work with the Crown Prosecution during the past several months, ensuring we now at least have some justice for my dad.

“No family should have to endure what we have been through. This stupid, thoughtless and cowardly act means we will now have to live knowing that my father was taken from us without cause or reason; We hope that today’s sentence will make others pause and think of the impact their actions could have when behind the wheel before acting so recklessly.”

This is Wiltshire

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