The family of a cyclist killed when he was hit in a head-on crash by a driver who was more than two times over the legal alcohol limit have said it is “beyond belief” that the motorist was not prosecuted following the fatal crash.
Sze-Ming Cheung, aged 44 and from Hellesdon in Norfolk, died after being hit by a Nissan Navara driven by Alan Hall on 7 June 2018, reports the Eastern Daily Press.
Mr Hall had been forced to swerve into the cyclist’s path due to a van driver who was travelling in the opposite direction overtaking Mr Cheung on a blind bend in Swannington.
An inquest yesterday at Norwich Coroner’s Court heard that when tested at the scene, Mr Hall was found to be over the limit and he was arrested for drink driving and causing death by dangerous driving.
However, no charges were ever brought against him, nor against the driver of the van involved in the fatal collision.
Mr Cheung, who ran a chip shop next to his family’s restaurant in Hellesdon, had been in training for an Ironman event in Italy when he was killed.
Following yesterday’s inquest, in which the coroner reached the conclusion that Mr Cheung had died as a result of a road traffic collision, his family issued a statement in which they described the case as a “shambles” and said that Norfolk Constabulary had “handled it very poorly.”
They said: “We are all very angry, disgusted and disappointed with the inquest’s final verdict of Sze-Ming’s death two years on. The injustice of the outcome is still very raw and difficult to comprehend and always will be as we have to live with it.
“How the driver cannot be punished for drink driving when he was clearly over the limit is beyond belief.
“It’s not given us any closure at all and is very distressing every second of every minute of every hour of the day.
“We will fight our way through our own lives everyday with hurtful emotions and it (the investigation) will always be open to us. Sze-Ming will never be forgotten and the pain and heartache will never go away for the rest of our lives.”
Mr Hall attended yesterday’s inquest, but replied “No comment” to questions put to him by the coroner, reportedly explaining that he did not wish to incriminate himself.
According to the Eastern Daily Press, police said last month that they would take no further action in the case.
Following yesterday’s inquest, a spokesman for Norfolk Constabulary said in a statement: “This is a tragic case in which a man lost his life and our thoughts remain with Mr Cheung’s family and friends at what we know continues to be a difficult time.
“We acknowledge that elements of this investigation fell below the standards expected and the failure to prosecute a drink driver involved in the crash was unacceptable.
“We take a firm stance on drink drive offences which is why it is all the more disappointing for an opportunity of justice to be missed.
“We have met with Mr Cheung’s family to explain this and offer our apologies. The officers involved have been given management advice.
“We understand this offers limited comfort to the family of Mr Cheung in their pursuit for justice. However, while no action has been taken against people interviewed in this case, it remains open and should further information come to light, we would review this and respond accordingly,” the statement added.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.