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Cyclist's widow awarded £200,000… but what she really wanted was an apology

Compensation in death by dangerous driving case but still no apology for death of top time triallist

The wife of a cyclist killed on the A1 in 2009 has accepted a £200,000 out of court compensation settlement but says she still hasn't received what she really wanted - an apology from the lorry driver who killed her husband.

65 year old Basil Clarke, known as Bas, died from his injuries in September 2009  two days after being hit while riding  on the A1 at Tickencote in Rutland by lorry driver Karel Sedivy from the Czech Republic. The incident happened as Bas returned home from his regular Saturday morning ride around the lanes near his home.

In a statement released by her solicitors, Mr Clarke's widow, Jane said:

“This settlement won’t even come close to making up for losing Bas, he was such a big character and a friend to so many people – we miss him every single day. Cycling was his passion. He had been a member of various cycling clubs for fifty years and was incredibly fit for a man of 65 years old.
“There’s no doubt in my mind that Bas had excellent road sense, he cycled on the A1 every week for years. All I ever really wanted was an apology from the driver of the HGV but, despite being given the opportunity to say sorry, he never has.

As reported at the time, Sedivy was convicted and sentenced to 16 months in jail on a charge of causing death by dangerous driving.  Evidence presented at his trial showed that Sedivy had neither slowed down nor attempted to alter the direction of his 7.5 tonne lorry during the course of the incident that claimed Mr Clarke's life - he served six months of his 16 month jail sentence.

At the time of his death Mr Clarke was one month in to his retirement from his job as a stonemason, he was a well known and highly respected breeder of ornamental water-fowl. Mr Clarke had been a cyclist all his life joining the Rockingham Forest Wheelers at the age 14 and winning many trophies for the club and for VC Slough the club he rode for in the 80s and 90s. He was a renowned time triallist  in his prime reckoned to be amongst the fastest men in the country.

Commenting on the settlement Mrs Clarke's solicitor, Jonathan Reid of Russell Jones & Walker, said: “The settlement finally draws to a close what has undoubtedly been a devastating time for Bas’s family.
“We work with many families whose loved ones have been killed or seriously injured and many find the prospect of reliving the tragedy in court almost too much to bear.  When a family feels like this, we always try our best to keep cases out of the courts, while also ensuring those left behind receive a full and realistic settlement.
“Of course, no amount of money will ever bring Bas back, or go any way to filling the void that he has left, but hopefully it will provide his family with some financial security for the future.”

Tony has been editing cycling magazines and websites since 1997 starting out as production editor and then deputy editor of Total Bike, acting editor of Total Mountain Bike and then seven years as editor of Cycling Plus. He launched his first cycling website - the Cycling Plus Forum at the turn of the century. In 2006 he left C+ to head up the launch team for Bike Radar which he edited until 2008, when he co-launched the multi-award winning - which he continues to edit today. His favourite ride is his ‘commute’ - which he does most days inc weekends and he’s been cycle-commuting since 1994. His favourite bikes are titanium and have disc brakes.

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