Killer driver drops lawsuit against cyclist victim's family

Angry crowds at the courthouse prompt U-turn by speeding motorist

A speeding driver who killed a cyclist has dropped his case against his victim's family after widespread protest.

Spanish businessman Tomas Delgado was seeking almost £20,000 to cover the cost of the damage to his luxury Audi A8 caused when he hit and killed 17-year-old Enaitz Iriondo.

Delgado was reportedly driving at more than 100mph in a 55mph zone but faced no criminal charges over the incident because a judge ruled both parties were to blame.

He launched a lawsuit to cover the cost of the work on his car - and the hire of a rental while it was being repaired.

But today he dropped his bid after an international outcry.

According to CNN, hundreds of people turned up to the courthouse where the case was to be heard today, to protest against Delgado.

They broke into spontaneous applause when they heard Delgado had dropped his lawsuit. His lawyer told the court the coverage the case had received had amounted to a "public lynching".

Delgado escaped criminal charges because a judge ruled his victim was also at fault. Iriondo was not wearing a helmet or reflective clothing when he was killed and was hit when he rode through a Give Way junction.

But now Enaitz's parents say they are considering pursuing a private prosecution. They said that at the time of the judge's original ruling they were given just three days to appeal, and were too distraught to act. 

According to CNN, Enaitz was killed as he cycled back from a nearby village to a campground where his family was vacationing.

His father said he heard the screeching of the car from the camp site. The teen was struck from behind and dragged 106 meters (347 feet) along the road.

A traffic report said Delgado was traveling 113 km per hour (70 mph) in an area where the speed limit is 90 km (55 mph). But an independent expert hired by Iriondo's family said Delgado was going 173 km per hour (107 mph).

Following the fatal accident in the La Rioja region of Spain, Enaitz's family were paid 33,000 Euros (£24,479) in compensation by Delgado’s insurance company, which acknowledged his speeding could have helped cause the accident.

Until the lawsuit, the boy’s parents said they had pitied Delgado, feeling sorry for the guilt they assumed he felt over the accident.

His father said: "The driver's negligence was the cause of death. If he'd been travelling a bit slower, he'd have had time to brake.”

(c) BikeRadar.com

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