Driver will live with causing cyclist’s death

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A DRIVER will live with the impact of causing the death of a well-known town “character” for the rest of his life, a court has heard

Shaun Savage failed to leave enough room for cyclist Terence Shaw as he overtook him on Bridge Road, Little Sutton, on a windy day last September.

As he passed the 69-year-old, the wing mirror of Savage’s car hit Mr Shaw, throwing him up in the air.

Although he was conscious immediately after the accident, Mr Shaw of Sutton Bridge, underwent an operation later that day from which he never recovered.

Spalding Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday was told that the accident had had a devastating impact on Savage’s life, as well as that of Mr Shaw’s family.

But in a letter to the court, Mr Shaw’s sister said it was a tragic accident and that she felt sorry for Savage for having to live with causing the death of her brother for the rest of his life.

Savage (40), of Barholm Avenue, Lutton, admitted causing death by careless/inconsiderate driving.

Paul Wood, prosecuting, described how he had been driving his Vauxhall Frontera 4x4 towing a trailer when the accident happened.

He and Mr Shaw were travelling in the same direction, but witnesses said Savage failed to pull out far enough to overtake him safely, with one of them saying to himself: “You are going to hit him” as he overtook.

Mr Wood described Mr Shaw as a “local character” often seen on his bike in Long Sutton and Little Sutton, often with his dog in a basket or running alongside him.

He was disabled, with one leg shorter than the other, after a previous cycling accident in the 1960s, which meant the manner in which he rode his bike was known to sometimes be “erractic”.

A couple who had seen Mr Shaw prior to the crash had suggested he did not ought to be riding because he appeared “wobbly” in the high winds, but he said he had to be getting on.

Forensic investigations of the crash scene suggested the cause for the accident was a combination of the high cross winds and Savage failing to cross over the white line to give Mr Shaw enough space.

In mitigation, Anita Toal said Savage had had a momentary lapse of judgement as he believed he had left enough room.

He had called 999 after the crash and insisted Mr Shaw went to hospital, despite his protest.

When an officer visited him later to say Mr Shaw had died he was clearly “devastated” and offered his sincere sympathies to the family.

Magistrates adjourned the case until July 31 for reports to be prepared ahead of sentencing and Savage was given a six-month interim driving ban.