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Father cleared of killing cyclist son by careless driving

Craig Tetsill, 21, was killed riding his bike after his father overtook in a pick up truck in the Scottish Highlands

A man has been found not guilty of killing his son by overtaking him in a pickup truck as he cycled on a single track road in the Highlands.

Andrew Tetsill, of Camelon, Falkirk, denied causing his son Craig's death by careless driving on a road to Wester Aberchalder, near Loch Ness, on 16 May 2013, and was found not guilty after a trial.

The charge alleged he caused his son to come off the bike by overtaking when it was unsafe to do so as they both left work near Gorthleck, above Inverness.

Andrew Tetsill is reported as saying in court: "Craig was standing at the side of the road as I approached. I was in first gear doing about 10mph. I passed him and pulled over as far as I could.

"I checked my mirrors and heard a thump. I stopped the truck and got out and saw Craig with one leg in front of the rear wheel of his bike and the other on top.

"I was screaming for help and hysterical and gave him CPR until the ambulance arrived."

Earlier in the trial a member of the pathologist team was reported as saying Craig would have survived with only a sore neck and head, had he been wearing a helmet when his head hit the tarmac.

Mr Tetsill said in court he was driving downhill in first gear before he overtook his son, who had gone into the mouth of a driveway, was moving slowly and balancing on his pedals. He checked his mirrors and moved over to the right and went into second gear to overtake, when he heard a bang against the tailgate of the Ford pick-up and his son's flailing arms in the mirror.

Constable Ian Mathers, of the roads policing unit, had calculated Craig was riding 16-20mph downhill on his mountain bike when his father passed at 38mph. The defence refuted this, along with Mathers' methods in calculating the speeds, using their own collision investigator, Jack Macbirnie.

Mathers' report said Craig lost control of his bike when the front wheel turned sharply to the right, before the truck's rear wheel ran over it, throwing him in the air. Craig and the bike ended up 15ft along the road, which police collision experts attributed to Andrew Tetsill overtaking too close. MacBirnie, however, said Craig had lost control of his bike as he moved into the driveway entrance.

A workmate and plant operator, George Law, said he saw Craig's handlebars turn 90 degrees, the bike tip up and throw Craig into the air, before striking the vehicle's rear light cluster.

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