Milkman who carried on round after leaving cyclist with brain injuries guilty of careless driving

Victim Paul Reynolds needs round-the-clock care; jury acquits David Reid of causing serious injury by dangerous driving

by Simon_MacMichael   April 17, 2014  

Justice (Lonpicman, Wikimedia Commons)

A milkman who carried on with his round after his milk float hit a cyclist, leaving him in a coma for six months and with permanent brain injuries meaning he has to receive round-the-clock care, has been found guilty of careless driving. But a jury acquitted him of the greater offence of causing serious injury through dangerous driving.

Preston Crown Court heard that David Reid, aged 71 and from Barrow, Cumbria, told a 15-year-old boy who was travelling with him on his milk float, “I think he’s dead,” after he stopped to check on the cyclist, 36-year-old Paul Reynolds, a submariner stationed in the town, reports the Liverpool Echo.

Despite his vehicle’s windscreen being smashed, Reid, who did not have a mobile phone, continued to make deliveries for half an hour, stopping at a post office to call for help. He then returned to the scene in his car where police, who had been alerted by a passing motorist, arrested him.

The incident happened at around 6.15am on 27 February 2013 on Bank Lane in Barrow, which Reid said was unlit and “like looking down a black hole.” The court was told that Mr Reynolds’ bike did not have lights and that he was not wearing reflective clothing.

According to prosecuting counsel Brian McKenna, “The prosecution say that the way that this accident occurred was that at all times Mr Reid’s vehicle was on the wrong side of the road. They were not going very fast, certainly no more than 20mph.”

The driver however, who has been a milkman for more than 50 years and had an unblemished driving record, maintained that he was driving carefully, that he was making a right turn and that his speed was lower.

He said: “There was a whoosh across the front of my screen. I didn’t know what it was. I heard a bang.

“I was in the middle of the carriageway, probably one wheel over the white line as I started to turn. The van was completely illuminated.

“While trying to make the turn I was doing about eight miles an hour.”

The 15-year-old accompanying Reid told the court: “Dave got out to see if he was all right, he said hello to him and he came back and said to me ‘I think he’s dead’.

“He kept saying ‘What do I do?’ and then he went ‘Cyclists, they are dangerous on the road – they do not pay attention.’ ”

Mr Reynolds was thrown several metres onto a grass verge as a result of the collision and Reid recalled: “I said to him ‘can you hear me?’ a few times. There was no response. He was just lying there.

“I didn’t dare touch him. I went back to the van and as I did that I looked around to see if any house lights were on. There was only one about twenty yards away, but it only had a sort of landing light.”

He was unable to explain why he had carried on with his milk round, saying that the incident had left him in a “confused” state of mind, adding, “It isn’t in my nature at all to be callous.”

Reid is due to be sentenced on 4 August, although Judge Graham Knowles has told him not to expect a custodial sentence.

24 user comments

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Anyone know a 15 year old that isn't permenantly attached to their mobile phone? something about this doesn't ring true!

posted by balmybaldwin [23 posts]
17th April 2014 - 9:48

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The milkman is seriously at fault here - and the whole mobile phone thing is a red herring - if he was bothered he should have gone straight to where he could call for help - not deliver milk on the way

But what on earth was a cyclist doing on the road at 6.15am in February without lights?

I think this is a case where some blame at least must accrue to the cyclist

posted by mad_scot_rider [536 posts]
17th April 2014 - 9:56

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Surely leaving a dead/dying person is more of a crime than careless driving?

posted by Cyclic [27 posts]
17th April 2014 - 9:58

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"Cyclists are dangerous on the road - they don't pay attention"

WTF !!!!!!!!

still on the 3rd switch-back of Bwlch !

posted by therevokid [677 posts]
17th April 2014 - 10:01

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point one being, no lights at 6-15am ....in February?

Point two van on the wrong side of the road

Point three....being left to die ??? Couldn't he have left the young lad with cyclist and drive to the nearest phone box/ shop/ house with lights on to call an ambulance?

One and three are not an accident.

All Campag

posted by Flying Scot [454 posts]
17th April 2014 - 10:32

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Isn't leaving the scene of an accident in which you, as a motorist, are involved, and where the victim has been deliberately left for dead (regardless of blame), in itself some sort of serious crime?

posted by severs1966 [47 posts]
17th April 2014 - 10:33

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severs1966 wrote:
Isn't leaving the scene of an accident in which you, as a motorist, are involved, and where the victim has been deliberately left for dead (regardless of blame), in itself some sort of serious crime?

It depends - if his intention had been to immediately summon assistance, then no

However taking half an hour, delivering milk on the way etc. - it shows a clear disregard for human life

I would have been hammering on the door of the nearest house showing any lights

posted by mad_scot_rider [536 posts]
17th April 2014 - 10:39

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Is the claim 'without lights' being made by the driver of the milk float? or based on clear evidence. That might include the fact that 30 minutes could easily mean battery light condition at the time the Police collected evidence would be indeterminable for the time of the crash, and some lights carried on the cyclist/bike might have detached?

There is 'leaving the scene' and 'failing to provide details'

Cumbria (ie in the North) and just before clocks change. Could easily be getting light by about that time

47 years of breaking bikes and still they offer me a 10 year frame warranty!

A V Lowe's picture

posted by A V Lowe [468 posts]
17th April 2014 - 10:58

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If he got confused by what to do after an rta and he almost killed someone he shouldn't be driving, his licence should be revoked. Minimum.

posted by Mart [94 posts]
17th April 2014 - 12:35

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Leaving someone for dead. I'm staggered. How inhumane can some people be?

posted by paulfg42 [368 posts]
17th April 2014 - 13:50

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I'd be curious as to what sort of judgement a lorry driver would get for similar behaviour towards a small car. Do we shrug our shoulders and say, meh, he didn't take care if a smaller 4 wheeled vehicle gets in a crash? it might have been their fault but it doesn't change the fact that two people left another human being to die.
There's something not right about the whole thing.

posted by Belaroo [41 posts]
17th April 2014 - 13:54

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I'm just completely baffled as to why abandoning the victim would not warrant a custodial sentence.

The principal of the law is to protect, the behaviour of the accused on just that point of abandonment, regardless of the accident, could have caused a death.

I think this is a case where I might look closely at the ruling when it eventually appears.

posted by bikebot [415 posts]
17th April 2014 - 14:05

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This really is through-the-looking-glass justice.

There was a geyser on the 'box last night who got six years for forging an oil-painting. This scum gets acquitted for killing a boy and callously leaving him there.

Username's picture

posted by Username [47 posts]
17th April 2014 - 14:47

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Username wrote:

This really is through-the-looking-glass justice.

There was a geyser on the 'box last night who got six years for forging an oil-painting. This scum gets acquitted for killing a boy and callously leaving him there.

That's an easy one. The boy wasn't property. Someone's life isn't worth nearly as much as someone else's money. Can't say I'm surprised. Disgusted, yes. But not surprised.

Work harder. Buy a tank.

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posted by userfriendly [217 posts]
17th April 2014 - 14:58

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"thrown several meters" .. the guy was going much more than 8 mph. And it doesn't sound like the cyclist can give his version of it, can he.

posted by bobcdc [18 posts]
17th April 2014 - 15:10

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In cases of serious injury, getting expert care within the first hour is critical.

two wheels good; four wheels bad

posted by cat1commuter [1329 posts]
17th April 2014 - 15:11

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userfriendly wrote:
Username wrote:

This really is through-the-looking-glass justice.

There was a geyser on the 'box last night who got six years for forging an oil-painting. This scum gets acquitted for killing a boy and callously leaving him there.

That's an easy one. The boy wasn't property. Someone's life isn't worth nearly as much as someone else's money. Can't say I'm surprised. Disgusted, yes. But not surprised.

For both your future reference, it may be worth reading articles prior to commenting on them. The boy was not the injured party, but was travelling in the vehicle. The injured party was 36 years old, so either you didn't read the article or are both really, really, really old!

posted by pwake [272 posts]
17th April 2014 - 15:52

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Sorry, with people getting killed left and right I obviously got things mixed up. Doesn't change the fact that the law considers property to be of higher value than a human life.

Work harder. Buy a tank.

userfriendly's picture

posted by userfriendly [217 posts]
17th April 2014 - 16:56

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Maybe I'm reading this differently to you all...

he hit someone - suffered massive shock from what he had done (hence carrying on with his round for 30 minutes), called from a post office as soon as he could - remember he didn't have a phone as was in shock, and then returned to the scene of the crime as soon as he could in his car.

stupid? yes
callous? no, I don't think so, just an old guy who had just witnessed a massive trauma and didn't cope particularly well with it.

there's precisely no condoning what he did that caused the incident, but I think some cooling down needs to be done on the actions afterwards!

Racer 074 for the 2014 Transcontinental Race; 2,000 miles from London to Istanbul.

http://themartincox.co.uk/2014/03/racer-074-transcontinental-race-2014/

posted by themartincox [319 posts]
17th April 2014 - 18:34

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themartincox wrote:
Maybe I'm reading this differently to you all...

he hit someone - suffered massive shock from what he had done (hence carrying on with his round for 30 minutes), called from a post office as soon as he could - remember he didn't have a phone as was in shock, and then returned to the scene of the crime as soon as he could in his car.

stupid? yes
callous? no, I don't think so, just an old guy who had just witnessed a massive trauma and didn't cope particularly well with it.

there's precisely no condoning what he did that caused the incident, but I think some cooling down needs to be done on the actions afterwards!


Either too stupid to know he should immediately fetch help, or too callous to care. Either way, unfit ever to be let in charge of a motor vehicle ever again.

posted by oldstrath [130 posts]
17th April 2014 - 19:10

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Agreed. A terrible outcome for this guy and his family, but wtf was he doing on the road in the dark with no lights or reflectives on !! I've had dumbass cyclists suddenly appear out of nowhere on dark nights completely invisible till the last second, not having any lights or light clothing on. There's definitely a Darwinian factor at work here !

Sounds like the old boy went on to some sort of traumatic shock after the accident

Ps. I'm the guy commuting to work in Cornwall , lit up like a Christmas tree. Stay safe out there, they are out to get us !

posted by Simonsays50 [2 posts]
18th April 2014 - 7:37

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.

posted by Simonsays50 [2 posts]
18th April 2014 - 7:55

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Simonsays50 wrote:
wtf was he doing on the road in the dark with no lights or reflectives on !!
At the time of the accident - 6.15am - it would have been civil twilight, which started at 06:12:14, with sunrise at 06:46:16. Lighting conditions would have been "sufficient, under good weather conditions, for terrestrial objects to be clearly distinguished". The law requires bike lights and shiny things between sunset and sunrise.

Careless rather than dangerous sounds about right tbh. Props for Christmas tree riding.

posted by Argos74 [261 posts]
18th April 2014 - 8:25

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Sunrise in Cumbria at that date was 7:07 according to the chart I looked at, and we know how dark it is 50 minutes before sunrise, especially if it's overcast.

The driver is plainly guilty of leaving the scene though.

All Campag

posted by Flying Scot [454 posts]
18th April 2014 - 8:36

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