A man who mowed down three cyclists as they crossed a road has been spared jail, despite police investigators’ belief that had he been travelling at the 40mph speed limit, he should have been able to stop between 24 and 45 metres before the location of the crash.
The Daily Echo reports that Peter Mead, Elizabeth Hutchings and their daughter, Saffron Mead, 14, were returning to their caravan at the Hollands Wood Campsite in the New Forest after a bike ride on Saturday, September 27, 2014. Having dismounted, they tried to cross the A337 between Lymington and Brockenhurst but were hit by Kyle Lloyd’s Aston Martin.
Peter Mead sustained a fractured lower leg and cuts and bruises and after being resuscitated by paramedics was flown to Southampton General Hospital by air ambulance. Hutchings sustained two broken thigh bones and a broken ankle, while Saffron Mead sustained a fractured jaw and injuries to her teeth.
One motorist told police that Lloyd was travelling so fast that “it was incredible”. Another said he heard the sound of the engine “screaming”.
During his trial at Bournemouth Crown Court, Lloyd said: “I drove off like an idiot unfortunately. [The car] had a noisy engine and I was accelerating away like an idiot.”
Simon Jones, prosecuting, said that Lloyd had travelled at an average speed of 63mph between the train station in Brockenhurst and the site of the crash outside Setleyridge Vineyard – a stretch of road where the speed limit is first 30mph and then 40mph.
Lloyd admitted that he had been speeding, but said that after taking a corner too quickly, he had slowed down.
He said he “glanced” in his wing mirror at a car travelling in the opposite direction and then realised the family were in the middle of the road. He attempted to swerve around them, saying he had no time to brake.
Lloyd was found guilty of three counts of driving without due care and attention, but not guilty of three counts of causing serious injury by dangerous driving. He will return to court for sentencing on May 6. The maximum sentence for driving without due care and attention is an unlimited fine.