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Last Updated: Thursday, 14 June 2007, 11:04 GMT 12:04 UK
Cycle death father tells of anger
Pictured clockwise: Thomas Harland, Wayne Wilkes, Maurice Broadbent, Dave Horrocks
Clockwise from top left: Thomas Harland, Wayne Wilkes, Maurice Broadbent, Dave Horrocks
The father of one of four cyclists killed when a car skidded on ice now does feel anger towards the driver.

An inquest into the deaths heard how Jonathan Harland initially said he had felt no anger towards the man but had a change of heart "over many months".

The cyclists - members of Rhyl Cycling Club - died on the A547 near Abergele in January 2006.

The driver was fined and given six points for faulty tyres but they were not said to be a factor in the crash.

The driver, Robert Harris, lost control on the icy road which, the inquest has heard, had not been gritted on the morning of the collision - 8 January 2006.

Thomas Harland, 14, Maurice Broadbent, 61, Dave Horrocks, 55, and Wayne Wilkes, 42, died when a car spun sideways into their path.

Jon Harland with son Thomas
I have felt for many months nothing but anger towards the driver who killed my son and three of my best friends
Jonathan Harland

The cyclists had not long set out on a 60-mile Sunday club ride to Llandudno's Great Orme.

Jonathan Harland - whose leg was injured in the incident - has told the inquest at Abergele town hall, how he and his son had been cycling alongside each other.

He recalled seeing a car heading for the cyclists sideways on. He estimated its speed at 60mph or more.

In the statement, which he gave just days after the tragedy, he said he felt no anger towards the driver.

However, on Thursday, Mr Harland's barrister, William Hoskins, read another statement outlining how those feelings had changed.

Mr Hoskins said: "During the course of his evidence yesterday, Mr Harland's statement was read to him by the coroner and it contained of course, the sentence 'My thoughts and feeling about the driver are that I don't feel anger towards him because it won't bring my son back'.

Accident scene
The cyclists had begun a 60-mile trip between Great Orme and Llanrwst

"That quotation has been extensively reported in the media as if it were indicative of his state of mind today.

"He has asked me to make clear to the jury the following - that he was interviewed a couple of days after the tragedy whilst still very much in a bewildered state.

"He says 'It was accurate and true at the time. However I have felt for many months nothing but anger towards the driver who killed my son and three of my best friends'."

After the accident, driver Robert Harris, 47, from Abergele, was fined 180 with 35 costs and given six points on his licence after admitting having defective tyres.

Magistrates in Llandudno decided in August 2006 that the defective tyres on the car had not been a factor in the collision.

The inquest, which is expected to last about a month, continues.




SEE ALSO
Drivers describe cycle death road
05 Jun 07 |  North East Wales
Cycle deaths road 'not gritted'
04 Jun 07 |  North East Wales
Four cyclists killed in car crash
08 Jan 06 |  North West Wales

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