Driver who killed cyclist walks free from court

By BikeRadar | Tuesday, January 12, 2010 10.30am

Court proceedings against a woman who ran over and killed a cyclist in her 4X4 have been dropped after lawyers agreed she probably fainted at the wheel.

Mother-of-three Sharon Corless and her husband Peter were cycling in Warrington in September 2008 when Tracy Johnson ploughed into them in her Range Rover Sport.

Mrs Corless, 43, was dragged under the wheels of the car and killed. Steel worker Mr Corless, 47, suffered serious leg, hip, back and head injuries and still cannot return to work.

Mrs Johnson, 35, was charged with causing death by dangerous driving and pleaded not guilty at a hearing last year. But when she returned to Chester Crown Court this week for a pre-trial hearing the case was dropped.

The judge heard that medical experts from both the defence and prosecution agreed that on the balance of probability Mrs Johnson had suffered a reflex syncope at the wheel – a faint or blackout caused by a sudden lack of blood supply to the brain.

After hitting the cyclists, her Range Rover accelerated, went over a roundabout, crashed into a car and only stopped after hitting a lampost. There was no sign she had tried to brake.

Phone records showed she had used her mobile three minutes before the collision, but there was no evidence to suggest that had contributed to the crash.

Mr Corless said he was "mystified and bewildered" by the dropping of the charges and disappointed the case had not gone to trial, the Daily Mail reported.

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