A teenage motorist from Cambridgeshire has been jailed for 21 months for causing the death of cyclist Major Gareth Rhys-Evans.
Maj Rhys-Evans, 37, known as “Druid”, was taking part in a time trial on the A1 in May last year when Katie Hart, 19, ploughed into him.
The married father of two was knocked off his Kinetic-One bike and catapulted over the roof of Hart’s Ford Ka, ending up in the fast lane of the dual carriageway. His injuries proved fatal and he was pronounced dead at the scene.
Hart, who claimed Maj Rhys-Evans “came out of nowhere”, denied causing death by dangerous driving, but was found guilty by a jury at Peterborough Crown Court last month. The court heard she had narrowly missed hitting Science in Sport rider Claire Lee moments before the fatal crash.
Yesterday she attended Huntingdon Crown Court for sentencing and was given 21 months in jail, of which she will serve half. The care assistant was also handed a two-year driving ban.
According to Metro, her lawyer had pleaded with judge Nicholas Coleman not to imprison her, claiming she felt “genuine remorse”, but the judge said that, while she was a “thoroughly nice young lady”, a custodial sentence was mandatory.
The newspaper reported that Cambridgeshire Constabulary are reviewing the way they monitor time trials in the area. Inspector Alan Page said: “This case highlights the importance of concentrating and remaining focused while driving. Just a short lapse in concentration can have fatal and tragic consequences. In this case it has changed the lives of both families forever.”
The collision took place near Eaton Ford during the Icknield Road Club 25-mile event on 3 May. The time trial, which had 120 competitors, was immediately abandoned.
Hart, of Little Paxton, near St Neots, Cambridgeshire, had been on her way to pick up her boyfriend. She admitted causing death by careless driving but the Crown Prosecution Service decided she should be tried for the more serious offence of dangerous driving.
Maj Rhys-Evans, originally of Llandovery, Carmarthenshire, Wales, was based at Rheindahlen military base in Germany and had flown back to the UK to compete with the Army Cycling Union.
He commanded 12 Military Intelligence Company, part of 1 Military Intelligence Battalion. He joined the Army aged 25 in 1996, and served with the Royal Artillery before transferring to intelligence.
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