Coach driver charged over deaths of two brothers killed while cycling last December

Carlisle man due to appear at Workington Magistrates' Court next Friday

by Simon_MacMichael   December 3, 2011  

Niggy and Christian Townend.jpg

Cumbria Constabulary have arrested a 43-year-old man from Carlisle in connection with the death almost exactly a year ago of two brothers killed while cycling on the A595 near Silloth.

Robert Wightman, has been charged with two counts of causing death by dangerous driving in connection with the incident on 5 December 2010 that claimed the lives of Christian Townend, aged 29, and his 21-year-old brother Nicholas, known as Niggy.

Wightman, who was driving a coach involved in the incident and who was arrested by police at the time, is due to appear at Workington Magistrates Court next Friday 9 December.

The news comes just days after the death of another cyclist elsewhere in Cumbria.

Geoff Davis, aged 51 and from Kendal, lost his life on the A590 at Levens in an incident involving two Volkswagen cars, a Golf and a Passat, reports the Westmoreland Gazzette.

A police investigation into that incident is continuing, and anyone with information is asked to call them on 0845 3300247.

 

 

4 user comments

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A whole year..? Why so very long?

downfader's picture

posted by downfader [204 posts]
3rd December 2011 - 14:18

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Not mentioned in the police statement, I'm afraid. We did have a comment to another story recently from someone working within the criminal justice system who outlined some of the reasons why investigations into RTCs could continue for some time before the CPS decided to press charges; a year still seems a long time, however.

Simon_MacMichael's picture

posted by Simon_MacMichael [8474 posts]
3rd December 2011 - 14:24

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Standard of proof is pretty high to bring case of causing death by dangerous driving. You have to show that the standard of driving fell "far below what would be expected of a competent and careful driver", which often means providing evidence of bad driving leading up to the actual incident. It can take a long time to put such a case together.

two wheels good; four wheels bad

posted by cat1commuter [1376 posts]
3rd December 2011 - 15:18

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cat1commuter wrote:
Standard of proof is pretty high to bring case of causing death by dangerous driving. You have to show that the standard of driving fell "far below what would be expected of a competent and careful driver", which often means providing evidence of bad driving leading up to the actual incident. It can take a long time to put such a case together.

Bit of a catch22 then. Is it little wonder that so few end up being prosecuted. I was fortunate when I got caught up in a hit and run a lot of years ago. The driver that hit me had been followed by another driver from when he had got into the car with a skinful. Police were able to add the charge of careless driving with failure to report and leaving the scene. The bugger still got a 6 month suspended driving ban as he required his licence for his business.

giff77's picture

posted by giff77 [1068 posts]
3rd December 2011 - 16:02

1 Like