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Motorist, 88, gets three-year driving ban for killing cyclist

Frederick Clague failed to see Simon Jones on roundabout before driving over cyclist despite witnesses yelling at him to stop

An 88-year-old motorist who ran over and killed a cyclist on a roundabout despite witnesses yelling at him to stop has been banned from driving for three years – although he has not driven since the fatal crash and never plans to do so again.

Frederick Clague, who pleaded guilty at Liverpool Magistrates’ Court yesterday to causing death by careless driving, did not see cyclist Simon Jones, aged 46, before he hit him on the roundabout in Hoylake, Wirral, on the afternoon of 27 November 2019.

The Liverpool Echo reports that Clague struggled to stop the car, running over Mr Jones. People nearby lifted the car off him, but he died in hospital four days later.

Prosecutor Alan Currums told the court that Mr Jones “stopped breathing, was resuscitated, but sadly died on December 4.”

He said that Clague “entered the roundabout at what appears to be a normal speed and went into the path of the cyclist,” who tried to steer clear but with the driver failing to brake, he fell beneath the front of the car.

“The vehicle itself doesn't stop, it was driving forward at a slow speed,” Mr Currums added.

One witness said that despite people “screaming, shouting and waving their arms at the car,” Clague “continued to drive over the top of him [while] slowing right down.”

He said that the motorist got out of his car and asked, “Where did he come from, who is he?”

According to another witness, he said: “I couldn't make it stop, it wouldn't stop.”

In mitigation, Tom Gent said it was a “tragic case” and that Clague was “devastated by the consequences of his actions.”

He said: “He is so desperately sorry for what he did and wishes he could turn back the clock.

“He wakes most nights thinking of Mr Jones - of course his suffering can't be compared with that of Mr Jones.

“He will forever be haunted by the consequences of his mistake,” and added that Clague had held a clean driving licence for 60 years.

Sentencing Clague, District Judge Paul Clarke said that the crash was “far from deliberate” and resulted from “inattention,” but was also “aggravated to some degree to fail to regain control of the vehicle.”

Acknowledging that Clague remained at the scene and had been left “disturbed” by what had happened, the judge said: “This is not a case that calls for imprisonment, I think that would serve no purpose.”

He imposed a 16-week curfew on him from 8pm-8am and said that should he wish to regain his driving licence once the three-year ban ends, he would have to take an extended retest – although Clague has not driven since the fatal crash and never intends to do so again.

Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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