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Popular club cyclist hit and killed during time trial, van driver arrested

The driver of a Ford Transit van has been arrested on suspicion of causing death by driving without due care while unfit through drugs

Tributes have poured in for a popular club rider who was hit and killed while riding a 25-mile time trial in Hampshire on Sunday morning.

John Froud was competing in an Epsom Cycling Club time trial on the Bentley course (H25/88) — starting and finishing near Farnham in Surrey via an out-and-back course to Alton on the A31 — when he was struck by the driver of a Ford Transit van shortly before 9am.

Hampshire Police and emergency services were called to the scene on the A31 near Holybourne Roundabout and the driver, a 21-year-old man from Barnet in north London, was arrested on suspicion of four offences, including causing death by driving without due care while unfit through drugs.

The police force confirmed that a cyclist in his 80s had died shortly after the collision and his next of kin had been informed.

The other charges the driver was arrested on suspicion of were: causing death by careless/inconsiderate driving, driving a vehicle whilst unfit through drugs, driving a motor vehicle with a proportion of a specified controlled drug above the specified limit.

Hampshire Police stressed they are keen to hear from witnesses who may have seen the collision or road users who were in the area on Sunday morning and may have caught video footage on camera.

News of the incident spread quickly on the Time Trialling Forum where one poster said he was the first rider on the scene along with an ex-army medic and the pair gave first aid treatment before the paramedics arrived.

The rider reported it had been a clear day, with no fog and "great visibility", adding that John would "be missed by many".

Tributes poured in with another poster saying John had been a "lovely man" and they felt "anger and bitter sadness" at the "waste of life".

"Stay safe out there everyone, sincere condolences to John's family and friends," another added.

"A formidable talent"

John began racing for Festival RC in the 1950s and was described as a "formidable talent", winning the Division Road Race Championship and representing his country at the Peace Race in Eastern Europe and later riding the Tour of Britain during its Milk Race days.

Alongside his brother, Brian, John won the team award in the National 100-Mile Championship, and he was also a part of the club's team pursuit squad on the track, winning medals at various national championships and winning the all-London Championship.

Anyone with any information that may help the investigation is asked to contact Hampshire Police on 101, quoting reference 44220390205.

Dan is the road.cc news editor and has spent the past four years writing stories and features, as well as (hopefully) keeping you entertained on the live blog. Having previously written about nearly every other sport under the sun for the Express, and the weird and wonderful world of non-league football for the Non-League Paper, Dan joined road.cc in 2020. Come the weekend you'll find him labouring up a hill, probably with a mouth full of jelly babies, or making a bonk-induced trip to a south of England petrol station... in search of more jelly babies.

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10 comments

Avatar
muhasib | 1 year ago
1 like

I live in Farnham and haven't cycled on the A31 since this earlier case as I just feel so vulnerable and inconsequential to the relative speed of traffic on that road:

https://road.cc/content/news/215742-texting-driver-who-killed-cyclist-fa...

It just appears so similar in many tragic ways.

Avatar
Steve K replied to muhasib | 1 year ago
1 like

I fairly regularly ride from South London to New Milton on the Hampshire coast (and vice versa) and have changed my route to avoid the A31 for the same reason.

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alansmurphy | 1 year ago
4 likes

Is driving under the influence not in itself dangerous as opposed to careless?

Avatar
Rendel Harris replied to alansmurphy | 1 year ago
4 likes
alansmurphy wrote:

Is driving under the influence not in itself dangerous as opposed to careless?

You'd think so logically, but no (not as far as I understand it); according to the Met:

Quote:

If a driver kills someone while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, they can be charged with causing death by careless driving while under the influence of drink or drugs (Section 3A of the Road Traffic Act 1988 (as amended by the Road Traffic Act 1991, section 3)).

Since June 28 this year this does now carry a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, though of course experience doesn't lead one to believe it will frequently be imposed.

Avatar
wtjs replied to Rendel Harris | 1 year ago
3 likes

Since June 28 this year this does now carry a maximum sentence of life imprisonment

This, of course, does not help cyclists. We are now familiar with driver-laden juries failing to find obviously-guilty drivers 'guilty'- they will be even less likely to put one of their own at risk of 'life imprisonment' despite that being only 15 years (or whatever) in practice. That means they're going to try to find stupid mitigating factors

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Awavey replied to alansmurphy | 1 year ago
3 likes

Well it will be interesting to see what the eventual charge for this is as the police have only confirmed the driver was arrested on suspicion of being unfit for driving through drugs. https://www.eadt.co.uk/news/traffic/tractor-and-car-crash-at-raf-mildenh...

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ooblyboo | 1 year ago
6 likes

This is terribly sad news - my condolences to his family and friends.

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brooksby | 1 year ago
2 likes

Awful 

 

(But the driver?!: causing death by driving without due care while unfit through drugs, causing death by careless/inconsiderate driving, driving a vehicle whilst unfit through drugs, driving a motor vehicle with a proportion of a specified controlled drug above the specified limit.  All at 9 on a Sunday morning, which I imagine means they'd had a wild Saturday night...).

Avatar
alchemilla replied to brooksby | 1 year ago
5 likes

Or they're a drug dealer on the road to shift some gear. Scary to think drugged people are driving amongst us with impaired cognitive abilities. No matter how much protective clothing, helmet cams, and assertive riding we do, there's no protection against drivers like this.

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iandusud replied to brooksby | 1 year ago
2 likes

Not dangerous at all...

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