Sydney crash driver found guilty

Fine for motorist who stopped suddenly in front of pack of cyclists

A motorist accused of causing a crash involving a group of 60 cyclists in Sydney, Australia, has been convicted of three charges. 

Hassan Bakr, 34, from the Sydney suburb of Claymore, was found guilty of not keeping wholly within his lane, negligent driving and not supplying particulars after an accident. He was fined AU$1,200 (£565) plus costs.

A Sydney court heard Bakr was driving along Southern Cross Drive, one of the major routes into the city, at 6.45am on May 8 last year when he suddenly swerved in front of a group of 60 riders and slammed on the brakes.

More than 20 cyclists – including then-Olympic hopeful Ben Kersten and Kate Nicholls, a survivor of the 2005 crash in Germany that killed Amy Gillett and seriously injured five members of the Australian team – were injured in the resulting crash. Bakr drove off.

Bakr told Downing Centre Local Court that he stopped because his Ford Falcon car was misfiring. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, he argued the cyclists should have had an escort and should have seen his hazard lights.

Defending himself, the unemployed security worker said he sped off after being intimidated by riders who came to his window complaining about his driving.

A fourth charge of cutting in front of a vehicle after overtaking was dropped. A damages claim for AU$45,000 (£21,000) is still ongoing.

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