Driver arrested after woman time triallist dies on A46

Tributes paid to mother-of-two Cath Ward

A driver has been arrested on suspicion of causing death by careless driving after a woman cyclist was killed while taking part in a time trial on the A46 in Warwickshire.

Solihull Cycling Club member Catherine Ward, 52, was taking part in Beacon Road CC’s 10-mile event on Wednesday (4 August) when she was in collision with a black Audi car. She was confirmed dead at the scene by paramedics.

Police are appealing for witnesses to the incident, which took place on a straight section of dual carriageway near the Oversley Green roundabout, just outside Alcester, at 7.20pm. Ward was the first rider out.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: “On arrival, crews found a middle-aged woman who had suffered multiple injuries. Bystanders were carrying out CPR. The ambulance staff took over and immediately commenced advanced life support.  Unfortunately, despite all of the efforts it was not possible to save the woman.

“The man driving the car involved was extremely shaken but otherwise uninjured.  He was checked over but did not require hospital treatment. The situation was made more complicated due to a number of other cyclists, who were taking part in the time trial, arriving at the scene.”

The motorist, a 27-year-old man, has been released on bail by Warwickshire Police pending further inquiries. Anyone with information about the collision is asked to call Acting Inspector Adrian Davis on 01926 415415.

Ward was a former journalist who worked for Warwickshire Police, lived in Claverdon and had a husband, Martin, and two grown-up daughters, Louise and Fiona. A passionate cyclist, she had only taken up time trialling last year but had already topped several podiums.

Robin Fox, vice-chairman of Solihull Cycling Club, told the Solihull News: “Solihull Cycling Club is extremely saddened to learn of the loss of one of its most prominent members. Cath Ward was a very popular member of the club and she had made a lot of good friends through the sport of cycling.

“As a cyclist, she was one of the most improved members of 2010 and was the reigning women’s club time trial champion. She will be sadly missed by everyone at the club and our deepest sympathy goes out to her family and closest friends.”

Friends have left tributes to Ward on the club's forum. One member, Dave St, said: "It has, or had, been wonderful to see how Cath's enthusiasm for the sport, the club and, latterly, competing had flourished. May she rest in peace. There will be many, like me, who are deeply upset at the news; I pass my sincere condolences to her family and friends."

Frosty Steve added: "I feel stunned – it's only a couple of weeks since I was cheering her on during a 10 and congratulating her on her excellent PBs – a really lovely lady. RIP Cath."

A fellow K33 competitor going by the username Alastair McC wrote: "It's a big, wide, not very busy dual carriageway. The wind was from the rider's right. Riders who stopped couldn't fathom out how a car cannot have seen her."

Earlier this year, a 19-year-old woman was jailed for causing the death of a cyclist taking part in a time trial on the A1 in Cambridgeshire. Major Gareth Rhys-Evans, 37,  known as "Druid", was knocked off his bike and catapulted over the roof of Katie Hart's Ford Ka, ending up in the fast lane of the dual carriageway. His injuries proved fatal. Hart claimed he "came out of nowhere", despite the fact she had narrowly missed hitting another rider just moments before.

On Sunday, 76-year-old CC Weymouth rider Peter Tindley died during the Bournemouth Jubilee Wheelers 50-mile time trial when he crashed into the back of a broken-down Renault Clio on the A35 Upton bypass near Poole.

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