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Bus driver who dragged cyclist to his death and failed to stop avoids jail

Cyclist dragged 24m along road after being hit by bus at junction

A bus driver who dragged a cyclist 24 metres under his wheels to his death has walked free from court despite admitting death by dangerous driving.

John Yates, 57, from Sacriston, County Durham, wept as details were read out about how he killed 46 year old Leslie Turnbull in January.

On the day of the collision, conditions were good, the court heard, and Mr Turnbull was visible with  lights on his bike.

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He was riding along Barmston Way, in Washington, Tyne and Wear, and came to a junction the bus was crossing.

Speaking for the prosecution, Paul Rowland said telemetry from the vehicle showed he had slowed to about 4mph a few metres before the junction and would have had “a full view of the road”, according to the Independent.

He said: “That speed was maintained before he began to slowly accelerate across the give-way signs.

“His speed increased to 6.8mph and in crossing the junction the bus collided with Mr Turnbull, who, of course, had right of way. At that time he was passing in front of the bus and Mr Turnbull was unseated and overrun by the bus, which came to rest some 23.6 metres down the road.”

A driver who was coming along the road behind Mr Turnbull told the court that when the bus did not slow down, began to sound his horn to warn the driver.

Mr Turnbull was found by his wife and daughter who went looking for him when he did not return home as expected.

Yates was described by his lawyer as ‘a broken man’ who was having counselling for the impact of the collision. He had 35 years of professional experience and a clean record, but had committed to never driving again.

He explained his failure to stop as ‘panic’.

Yates was given a 12-month community order and disqualified from driving for two years.

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.

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