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Last Updated: Thursday, 3 August 2006, 10:30 GMT 11:30 UK
Tyre fine for bike deaths driver
Pictured clockwise: Thomas Harland, Wayne Wilkes, Maurice Broadbent and Dave Horrocks
Four members of Rhyl Cycling Club were killed in the crash
A driver of a car which skidded on black ice and ploughed into a group of cyclists killing four of them, has been fined for having defective tyres.

Robert Harris, 47, from Abergele, lost control on the road near his home on 8 January, where 12 members of Rhyl Cycling Club were on a training ride.

He admitted three counts of driving with defective tyres and was fined 180 at Llandudno Magistrates' Court.

Magistrates said the defective tyres "were not a contributory factor".

Maurice Broadbent, 61, from Rhuddlan, Dave Horrocks, 55, from Llanerch, Wayne Wilkes, 42, of Rhyl and Thomas Harland, 14, from Prestatyn, were killed in the collision.

Thomas Harland's father, Jon Harland, suffered a broken leg as Harris' Toyota Corolla hit the group of cyclists as they were on a Sunday morning training ride.

'Tragic accident'

Diane Williams, prosecuting, told the court that a police investigation found that Mr Harris's defective tyres - the front pair and rear nearside - were not the cause of the crash.

She said: "The crown took the decision that in the circumstances, tyre tread is there to displace liquid debris from the road to give a better grip.

"In this situation, the examination has found there was no liquid there - it was black ice, consequently the defective tyres couldn't have been a contributory factor to the collision."

Police examine the scene of the crash near Abergele
The accident happened after the car skidded on ice

Magistrates chairman Llion Williams fined Harris 60 for each of the counts and endorsed his driving licence with six points.

He said: "We are dealing with this case as we would any case involving defective tyres, where a guilty plea has been entered by post.

"It has already been established in court that the three defective tyres were not a contributory factor to this tragic accident."

Early on 8 January, the 12 members of Rhyl Cycling Club were on the A547 Rhuddlan Road near Abergele, near the start of a 60-mile round trip to Great Orme in Llandudno.

Despite the fine weather, cold temperatures meant there was ice on the roads.

At about 1000 GMT, Harris' car, which was travelling in the opposite direction, skidded on black ice and ploughed into the group, fatally injuring four.

In the weeks following the crash, cycling clubs across the UK wore black armbands while on rides in tribute to the four cyclists who died.

After the court case, a spokesman for Rhyl Cycling Club said: "We are content to let the due processes of law deal with these matters and we are satisfied that the families directly affected by the tragedy have the benefit of expert legal advice and support."


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