Page last updated at 15:52 GMT, Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Driver guilty over cyclist's death on Cambridgeshire A1

Major Gareth Rhys-Evans
Major Rhys-Evans was wearing Army colours during the time trial

A 19-year-old motorist who hit and killed a cyclist on the A1 in Cambridgeshire has been found guilty of causing death by dangerous driving.

Major Gareth Rhys-Evans, 37, was killed when he was hit by Katie Hart's Ford Ka at Eaton Socon on 3 May 2009.

Hart, of Little Paxton, Cambs, told Peterborough Crown Court she did not see Maj Rhys-Evans, originally from west Wales, until she felt an impact.

A jury took five hours to return a unanimous verdict of guilty.

Maj Rhys-Evans was just under an hour into a cycling time trial when he was hit. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Admitted careless driving

Hart, a health carer, had denied one count of causing death by dangerous driving.

The court heard the teenager admitted causing death by careless driving, but prosecutor John Goodier said it was the Crown's case that her standard of driving fell into the category of dangerous driving.

Maj Rhys-Evans, originally from Llandovery, Carmarthenshire, was a member of the Icknield Cycling Club, as well as a member of the armed forces.

The club had organised cycling trials on the day of the incident and they took place on the A1 between Sandy in Bedfordshire and Buckden in Cambridgeshire, the court heard.

Father-of-two Maj Rhys-Evans was wearing the distinctive colours of the armed forces as he travelled southbound on the A1, Mr Goodier said.

Driver was 'hysterical'

Hart was on the way to her boyfriend's house when she "drove straight into the back" of him, he said.

Jurors were told Maj Rhys-Evans was thrown over the car and died of the injuries he suffered in the crash.

Hart was "hysterical" after the crash, the court heard.

A statement from Lois Durrant, a passenger in another car who saw the crash, said she heard Hart on the phone to her mother afterwards saying: "I don't know how serious it is but I have hit someone."

She also said: "Have I killed him, is he going to be OK? I don't know how I could live with myself if I have killed him."

Judge Nicolas Coleman deferred sentencing to the week commencing 15 February.

He bailed Hart and told her she is disqualified from driving and faces a prison term.

Outside court, Maj Rhys-Evans's widow Emma said: "Whatever the verdict was, it makes no difference to mine and my children's loss."

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