Monday, 18 December 2017

Woman driver admits killing cyclist

A WOMAN accused of causing death by dangerous driving after killing a cyclist will stand trial on July 22.

A WOMAN accused of causing death by dangerous driving after killing a cyclist will stand trial on July 22.

Victoria McClure, 37, of Chiltern Drive, Charvil, pleaded guilty to killing Anthony Hilson on the A4 near Twyford on September 16 when she appeared at Reading Crown Court on Wednesday.

She claims Mr Hilson’s death was caused by careless rather than dangerous driving as she was not distracted at the wheel. Richard Clews, defending, told the court the cyclist may have been stationary at the time of the collision and that he was wearing dark clothing, making him less visible.

He said: “The evidence has to meet the high threshold for the dangerous driving conviction. I suggest that the evidence is not sufficient under the circumstances.”

Charles Ward-Jackson, prosecuting, called on evidence from an expert who estimated that when driving at 40mph to 50mph, which is what McClure claims she was doing, it would take 22 to 27 seconds to travel 500m. He said: “In this case we have an empty, open road with exceptional visibility where you can see 500m, which is about as far as you can possibly see on an open road.

“A jury is entitled to ask themselves what on earth caused this defendant to collide with the bike?”

Judge Zoe Smith said: “Although the defendant has accepted her driving falls below the test for a competent and careful driver, the facts are that at around 10.40am on a Sunday morning a collision occurred on the A4.

“Mr Hilson was on a bike and, even accepting that he was stationary on his bike, it would appear that there should have been some 500m in which the defendant would have been able to see him.

“It is said that he was wearing dark cloth but the fact is that the defendant did not see the cyclist until the point of collision itself. She was unable to take any diverting action.

“You could consider that she was driving along that stretch far below the standard of a competent and careful driver. I conclude that a jury could convict for dangerous driving on the facts of this case.”

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