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Charity cyclist death: Driver charged with causing death by dangerous driving, drunk driving and failing to stop

Police have charged an 18 year old woman in connection with a crash that killed Christian Smith, who was aiming to ride 248 miles in 24 hours through Kent and Sussex to raise money for the mental health charity MIND.

Bethany Mackie, 18 from Beltinge Road, Herne Bay was charged with causing death by dangerous driving, driving with excess alcohol and failing to stop after a collision.

She will appear before Canterbury Magistrates' Court on 24 November.

On his page on the charity fundraising website Just Giving, Christian explained why he was undertaking the ride:

In short I want to support the charity MIND, raise awareness towards the great support that they offer, and help bring an end to the stigma that is attached to those who suffer from mental health problems.

I have had my own misfortune to suffer from a spate of poor mental health, which was unexpected and has been a real 'game changer' in how I now view the future. It has been a tough road to get to this point but I have been fortunate enough to have the support of my family and friends.

There are those who are not so fortunate to have the same level of support and understanding. They suffer in silence and are alone.

This challenge is for those people.

He also outlined the task he had set himself:

This is an attempt to cycle the full 24hrs and the full distance, largely unsupported (because nobody is stupid enough to volunteer!). So there are no motorcycle outriders, support vehicles or hot chicks to wipe my brow.

It is going to be a tough course with over 11000ft of climbing, 248 miles, all in 6 weeks time. The route forms a pretty red line around Kent, into Sussex and back up past Tonbridge towards Medway, across to Swale and home.

In time for tea and a slice of cake.

As much as this being a physical effort, it will also be a mental struggle, enduring a long dark night alone, knackered. Not to mention the long training sessions ahead of me to prepare.

His wife has vowed to complete his journey – and add to the more than £80,000 the trip has raised for charity, almost all of it donated by strangers following his death.

After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.