Flint danger driver killed cyclist


Elwyn Roberts

A RETIRED paramedic out cycling was killed instantly when the driver of a Range Rover failed to spot him.

Mold Crown Court heard other drivers saw victim Alan Mort, 63, cycling properly on the dual carriageway, close to the kerb in a straight line and wearing a high visibility jacket.

But John James Evans, 45, did not see him and did not brake or swerve to avoid him but ploughed straight into him, knocking him onto the bonnet of his car and then onto the kerb.

Despite efforts by passers-by, including a nurse, to help he had been killed instantly, Jayne La Grua, prosecuting, told the court.

Evans, of Windsor Drive, Flint, had denied causing death by dangerous driving and was due to go on trial yesterday but he changed his plea and admitted the offence.

Evans was jailed for 14 months, was banned from driving for 18 months, and was ordered to take an extended driving test.

Judge Niclas Parry said Evans “caused the wholly unnecessary and avoidable death” of Mr Mort on the afternoon of Sunday, February 5 last year.

Judge Parry said Mr Mort, who had developed a passion for cycling, invested in only the best safety equipment and clothing and was riding properly at the side of the dual carriageway between Flint and Bagillt.

Mr Mort would have been visible to Evans for at least 20 seconds, yet he failed to see him.

“He was there to be seen. He was immediately in front of you yet you collided with him,” the judge said.

There were no other aggravating features. He was driving at no more than the national speed limit, he had not been using a mobile phone or any similar device, there was no alcohol or drugs involved, he was not tired, he was fit to drive and there were no defects in the vehicle.

He was a man of good character, an industrious man, a devoted and committed family man highly regarded by his employer and his remorse was genuine.

Judge Parry said the fact remained Mr Mort was killed and his loved ones suffered a dreadful loss.

The use of the public roads by cyclists was probably now more popular than ever before and the danger to cyclists had never been under greater scrutiny as they were vulnerable road users, he explained.

“Drivers have a high responsibility to be aware of cyclists on the road,” he said.

Miss La Grua said Mr Mort, of Kinmel Bay, had cycled to Flint to see his son Christopher and was returning home along the A548 coast road towards Bagillt.

The weather was fine, visibility was good and Evans would have had a clear and unobstructed view of the cyclist for some 445 metres.

“However, for reasons unknown, despite the time and distance available to him, the defendant simply failed to observe him,” she said.

He had not changed his path, slowed down, or braked, but drove into the back of the cycle. The rear light was later found embedded in the broken headlight of the Range Rover.

“He was clearly there to be seen,” she said.

John Gibson, defending, said Evans accepted his culpability, whether his actions had been labelled dangerous or careless.

“He is at a complete loss to understand why he did not see him,” he said.

Forensic evidence showed he was not on the phone, he had his eyes tested, including his peripheral vision, he was in good health and there was no explanation why the tragic accident had happened. He was unable to explain how he had caused the death.

“He does not understand what it was that led to this happening,” said Mr Gibson.

“Evans still to this day does not understand how he made such a catastrophic error. He cannot explain it.”

See full story in the Leader

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