Woman charged with killing teenage cyclist while over drink drive limit

Also failed to stop at the scene or inform the police of the collision

by Sarah Barth   February 16, 2013  

Broken bike (CC licensed image by garryknight, www.flickr.com)

A woman has been charged with killing a teenage cyclist while under the influence of alcohol, leaving the scene of the collision and failing to inform police of what happened.

The unnamed 67-year-old woman from Knedlington, near Howden in Yorkshire, will appear before Beverley Magistrates Court later this month.

Sam Brown, 15, and his friend Luke Wheel, were cycling home from a friend's house at 8.50pm on September 6 last year when they were hit by the woman on the B1230.

Sam later died in hospital, and Luke suffered broken bones.

The woman has been charged with causing death by careless driving while over the limit for alcohol, failing to stop at the scene of a collision and failing to report a collision.

Although Sam's family and friends campaigned for improvements to the cycling provision along the stretch of road where he was killed, nothing has yet been done to improve it.

East Riding Council organised a group, the B1230 Howden to North Cave Corridor Safety Strategy, to examine what improvements could be made.

At Sam's funeral, school headteacher Garry Garghan said his smile "lit up the school", This Is Hull reported.

He said: "Like everyone who knew Sam, we are all pretty much in shock that we are not going to see him around school wearing that cheesy grin that was pretty much always on his face.

"Sam loved school. He didn't always like lessons, but he loved school.

"He was always talking to his friends, staff and other students with that big grin on his face.

"He lit up the place with his winning smile and wicked sense of humour.

"He possessed that rare gift of genuine charm. He was a happy-go-lucky, friendly person, an honest, nice lad.

"He could also be a modest, shy person, and didn't talk much about the things he was good at."



18 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

East Riding Council organised a group, the B1230 Howden to North Cave Corridor Safety Strategy

So they aren't doing anything then! A talking shop to use up any budget and not changes because "there's no money left"

Hamster's picture

posted by Hamster [93 posts]
16th February 2013 - 10:34


This is tragic - but how is driving when over the limit 'careless'. Did you carelessly drink that 5th pint then carelessly pick up your keys and carelessly drive off after hitting a cyclist? They're all deliberate acts.
CPS under-charging yet again?

posted by b3nharris [46 posts]
16th February 2013 - 10:46


They are more interested in charging for DUI than a childs life Angry Angry Nice one CPS lets hope it doesn't happen to any of your family. No doubt the insurance company will blame the child for not wearing hi-viz clothing Angry

cidermart's picture

posted by cidermart [493 posts]
16th February 2013 - 11:52


Drink and drive costs lives! She's GUILTY of Manslaughter at least; and certainly premeditated dangerous driving. it's time for the law to get tough with people who cause death, because of their selfish indulgence.

posted by Mostyn [430 posts]
16th February 2013 - 11:57


She'll probably get more a sentence for the DUI than causing death.

I'm a human being, God damn it! My life has value. I’m as mad as hell and I’m not going to take this anymore.

posted by Carl [136 posts]
16th February 2013 - 12:22


I firmly believe that drink driving should be regarded as attempted murder, even if you don't injure anyone

It's the same as carrying a gun. And if you kill someone - same sentence as gun crime

You can't accidentally get drunk and drive

Live to ride, riding to live

posted by Updesh [9 posts]
16th February 2013 - 12:28


Updesh The sooner the law and society at large equate the duty of care when using a gun, a chainsaw or other dangerous device with an equivalent responsibility when using a motor vehicle, the faster we'll eradicate such inequitable outcomes.

You were driving a vehicle which caused injury or damage then you carry a liability for the outcome, not necessarily the event. This has in fact been reflected in motoring law since 1903, and is now seen from the wording of Section 170 of the Road Traffic Act, even when someone is injured of property damaged with no actual contact taking place - the wording sets out that it is the PRESENCE of a motor vehicle causing damage or injury. Worth remembering if you are forced off the road and can nail the keeper, or driver with clear evidence of this.

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 [560 posts]
16th February 2013 - 13:52


To explain, the offence of causing death by careless driving whilst under the influence was introduced because dangerous driving has a high threshold of proof and offenders were only being convicted of one offence for each incident, more often drink drive as its the more serious and simple. This offence is more serious still. If she clipped someone because of inattentiveness that's not dangerous, it's careless. If she did the same thing whilst drunk the individual action is now much more serious and she CAN be sentenced more harshly. We'll see if she is…
As for manslaughter, you may be right, but juries (that's you and me folks) are historically reluctant to convict of what is perceived as a serious offence for driving offences. In truth, she's likely to get a similar sentence anyway.

posted by Owen Rogers [32 posts]
16th February 2013 - 14:28


As Owen said, this could actually result in a genuine conviction but I do hope the sentencing properly reflects the incident. Too often drivers just aren't getting sentences that are commensurate with their actions.

posted by CycleBear [3 posts]
16th February 2013 - 16:09


I do hope Owen is right what consistently amzes me iz the number of repeat offenders on our roads

posted by crash144019 [48 posts]
16th February 2013 - 17:21


Repeats to self "The death penalty is still wrong". Several f***ing times. Difficult to see her getting off this one without a substantial spell inside.

posted by Argos74 [351 posts]
16th February 2013 - 19:16



Pepita rides again!

posted by pepita1 [193 posts]
16th February 2013 - 20:55


"drink driving should be regarded as attempted murder"

+1 for that. Unfortunately the CPS seem to have sent another case to Magistrate's Court, because the driver "carelessly" drank and drove, and drove her car into someone's child, killing them. Whoops.

PJ McNally's picture

posted by PJ McNally [602 posts]
17th February 2013 - 0:49


And too many magistrates are crazy old upper middle class bats more concerned with how good people's addresses are than the facts of the case. They may well empathise with a 67-year-old drink-driver more than a teenager on a bike.

posted by a.jumper [833 posts]
17th February 2013 - 21:07


I'm willing to bet that she does no jail time. I cannot see a judge sending a 67 year old to jail for any amount of time regardless of the circumstances. I'm expecting the phrase " she has suffered enough" to pop up before a ban, 3 years, a fine £500 & some community service or suspended sentence. The family of the young lad will suffer for the rest of their lives but will not be able to do a thing about it. Welcome to "justice" English style.

posted by Fatbagman [21 posts]
18th February 2013 - 19:04


This is another interesting one. I would like to compare and contrast if there is any difference between the sentence handed out if this was two young pedestrians versus the same lads on their bikes. PLEASE tell me that there is no difference!! If there is a difference then we are all right and there is a massive prejudice against us cycling scum!

I really really wish we could be treated equally but the cyclist racism we are all reacting against is just awful! I will be riding in Spain next week - I know I will be treated with respect and have a great time!

posted by Tongietr8 [9 posts]
12th April 2013 - 19:12


I was pulled over by one of the pricks in blue for not having a red rear reflector I HAVE FOUR RED REAR LIGHTS FOR CRYING OUT LOUD if someone cannot see me they ought not be driving the red rear reflector is only required if you are going to put the bike on a prop stand an the side of the road if you are riding then you need lights the police are just anti-cyclist Angry

tired old fart

posted by tired old fart [82 posts]
18th April 2013 - 12:17


tired old fart wrote:
the red rear reflector is only required if you are going to put the bike on a prop stand an the side of the road if you are riding then you need lights the police are just anti-cyclist Angry

Sounds more like being a tit and they are nearly always anti-tit!

The Road Vehicles Lighting Regulations 18 and Schedule 1 Table 3 gives no exceptions to having a red rear reflector. After all, if your rear light fails while you're riding, it'll be all you've got.

Of course, it would be nice if the police would treat cyclists as leniently as all the cars and vans with defective lights - or maybe they did and tired old fart argued the above stupid point so they decided to throw the book at him/her.

posted by a.jumper [833 posts]
18th April 2013 - 14:37