Friday, 29 June 2012

Van driver who ran down Elizabeth Brown cleared of causing death by careless driving

Evening Chronicle reports that Daniel Mackay who drove a van straight into the back of Elizabeth Brown as she was cycling on the A189 near Cramlington, Northumberland, on 13th April 2011, was today cleared of causing her death by careless driving.  A jury at Newcastle Crown Court appear to have accepted Mackay's explanation that as a vehicle ahead of him swerved suddenly to avoid Miss Brown leaving him with no opportunity to avoid running into her.
Some might think an object lesson in why not to tailgate the vehicle ahead.

14 comments:

  1. I'm getting really depressed by your recent postings. (Not your fault, I hasten to add).

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  2. It does sound in this instance as if, if the other driver had given her proper room and driven attentively, the van driver would at least have had less excuse for not seeing her.

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  3. As always the comments on the article itself are depressing to say the least.

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  4. So he was so close to the guy in front that he was involved in an accident, but because it was only a cyclist he got away with it? So the lives of cyclists are too cheap for the jury to give a damn about? This is, flat out, an awful verdict.

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    1. He did not see Liz Brown ?
      then he is 100% Guilty.
      Anyone and Everyone driving or riding on the roads has to be able to see other road users.
      Whatever the conditions, weather or traffic, it is Every driver's responsibility to ALWAYS be able to see other road users.
      At the very least he was driving carelessly and without due care and attention.
      Slipstreaming is for Racetracks, NOT the Public Highway.

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  5. She was a friend of mine, we grew up together. It devastated us all when she was killed. Hard to accept he got away with it. As a driver approaching a slip road you should be looking out for bikes and slowing down

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    1. I have always felt very strongly about what happened to Liz Brown, and the many others that have suffered the same fate.
      All or almost all could have been Avoided if people had just cared a little more for others, their fellow human beings, Cyclists and even motorcyclists are treat with disregard. A sign of the times ? it is Death Race 2000 out there.

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  6. The fact he didn't know the safe stopping distance at 60mph (wrong by a factor of 5) seems to have been ignored. Perhaps if he'd known that Liz may have had a chance.

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  7. "The cyclist was just there all of sudden" therefore it aint my fault. A perfectly valid excuse? #BS. If you can't see what's going on ahead on the car in front then you are driving too close, end of!

    The idea that cyclists just come out of nowhere is utter BS. I do a lot of cycling in the Peak district on 50 mph roads. I also do a lot of driving there, and every time you encounter cyclists, you usually see them from many hundreds of metres in front, giving you typically around 5 - 10 seconds to react and assess the situation, which is a LONG time. Even when behind trucks of cars, you can still see the cyclists up ahead. This was a lame and invalid excuse.

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  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  9. "... Mackay's explanation that as a vehicle ahead of him swerved suddenly to avoid Miss Brown leaving him with no opportunity to avoid running into her."

    Have I got this right? His defence against causing death by careless driving was that he was driving carelessly?

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  10. Ann Brown (mother)24 July 2012 21:07

    Lizzie - effortlessly lovely - was mown down on a bright April morning cycling the 17 miles to work. She was training for a riathlon. I don't seek retribution but someone was responsible for her death. She is irreplaceable to her family, friends and colleagues.

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    1. Thank you Ann for commenting on my blog. You and the other members of Lizzie's family have my deepest sympathy

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  11. Thanks for keeping track.

    I am really struggling for words.

    Coming from a country where care and courtesy on roads seems to exist more than it does here, I cannot compehend the sheer discrimination done to UK cyclists. Especially as the UK has such a worse deal for cycling conditions on our roads, ie ludicrous and missing infrastructure, you'd have thought that society is kinder, wouldn't you?

    Insult to injury, we have a legal system of 'social justice' that's letting cyclists down so badly.

    I can not hide my frustration and anger. Getting simple pieces of information even is near impossible (example http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/police_report_for_cyclists_death_2)

    (Speechless)

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