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Van driver claimed gust of wind made him hit cyclist

A man was convicted of causing death by careless driving after claiming a gust of wind blew him into the path of a cyclist, killing him

A van driver, who claims a gust of wind forced him to collide with a cyclist, killing him, has been sentenced to six months imprisonment and banned from driving for 12 months.

A jury at Stafford Crown Court heard that on 5 May 2015 Paul Maguire, from London, was taking part in a charity bike ride from Basingstoke to Kendal, and his route took him along the A5 in Tamworth when he was hit.

Dean Swift, 23, of Cheslyn Hay, Staffordshire, hit him from behind. Emergency services were called to the scene and, despite treatment for his injuries, Maguire died at the roadside.

Hit-and-run victim's family calls for tougher sentencing

The Crown Prosecution Service said weather at the time was overcast with moderate rain and a blustery wind. When Swift was arrested, he claimed the wind forced his vehicle into the path of the cyclist.

Swift was later charged with and found guilty of causing death by careless driving. He was given a six month prison sentence, suspended for two years, as well as being disqualified from driving for 12 months, and ordered to pay £2,000 in costs, according to the CPS.

Andy Gee, senior West Midlands Crown Prosecutor, said: "Although the conditions that day were wet and windy, Dean Swift would have had a clear sight of the road ahead of him and he would have had ample time to spot Paul Maguire riding his bicycle.

"A motorist in front of the defendant managed to complete a safe manoeuvre around the cyclist. However, Swift failed to safely pass the victim and, as a result, his van collided with him.

"The defendant's driving fell below that expected of a competent and careful driver, which tragically resulted in the death of Mr Maguire."

Mr Maguire’s family, who attended the five-day trial last month, thanked other motorists that stopped and helped.


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