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Driver "blinded by sun" found not guilty in cyclist death

73-year-old died after being hit in January 2014

A driver who hit and killed a 73-year-old cyclist has walked free from Ipswich Crown Court after being found not guilty of causing death by careless driving.

Retired planning officer Colin Crowther was hit by the car being driven by 29-year-old Sam Burrows on January 16, 2014. Mr Crowther hit the car's kerbside windscreen, rolled over the car and landed on the ground.

Mr Burrows said he had been blinded by the sun "without warning" and then heard a bang as his car hit Mr Crowther.

He denied causing death by careless driving and was unanimously found not guilty by a jury after a three-day trial.

The Ipswich Star's Jane Hunt reports that Burrows said he had been on his way to work at around 2.30pm. As he turned on to the Old London Road he lowered his sun visor as a precaution because he could see the sun ahead of him.

He had slowed down by taking his foot of the accelerator and put it over the brake pedal as a precaution in case he needed to brake.

“All of a sudden without warning I was blinded by the sun. It was a mixture of glare coming off the road and my bonnet,” said Burrows.

He said he had squinted and within one or two seconds he heard a bang.

Asked by his barrister Stephen Rose if there was anything he could have done to have avoided the collision Burrows said: “I’m really sorry about the outcome, but I 
honestly don’t think there was anything I could have done to avoid it.”

Colin Crowther, described as a keen cyclist, was riding a lightweight road bike and wearing a fluorescent yellow gilet and a helmet.

After being hit, he was taken to hospital but died later that night.

Paying tribute to Mr Crowther, his family said: “Colin was a quiet private man, however his kind, thoughtful and considerate presence was welcomed by neighbours, former work colleagues together with his family and friends.

“His sudden absence from the community will be sorely felt, particularly by his two granddaughters who idolised their ‘Grandpop’.”

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