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Minibus driver’s “momentary lapse in concentration” led to cyclist’s death

Robert Warden died following collision in Blackburn earlier this year

A minibus driver’s “momentary lapse in concentration” led to the death of a cyclist, a court has been told.

Robert Worden, aged 53 and from Great Harwoood, died in hospital from injuries sustained when he was knocked off his bike and then run over at the Whitebirk roundabout in Blackburn on 5 May this year, reports the Lancashire Telegraph.

Blackburn Magistrates’ Court heard that the driver of the minibus, David Haythornwhite, told police that he had seen Mr Worden on the roundabout but was not aware of where he was at the point of collision.

He pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving.

Philippa White, prosecuting, told the court that the 58-year-old from Burnley had dropped off a passenger shortly before the fatal crash and that a witness saw him drive across the give way line as Mr Worden approached.

She said: “He collided with the rear of the bike, causing it to wobble, and the rider to fall off in front of the minibus.

“At that point he set off and unfortunately drove over Mr Worden, who died shortly after.”

She added: “There is no suggestion he was travelling at speed or that this was anything other than a momentary lapse in concentration.”

Richard James, representing the defendant, likened the incident to the kind that when they involve cars lead to whiplash injuries, adding: “In this case we are talking about a minibus and a bike with more tragic consequences.”

Haythornwhite will be sentenced on 4 February at Preston Crown Court.

Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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