Case Study

Christian Smith, 38, killed on Thanet Way during 24 hour charity ride

Christian Smith was in the middle of a 24-hour challenge ride around the county of Kent when he was hit on Old Thanet Way, near Whitstable.

An 18-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and drink driving. Another 19-year-old driver has also been arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving.

He had been hoping to raise £1,000 in aid of mental health charity Mind. Since his death, thousands of people have donated online, bringing donations to over £68,000 and rising.

Mr Smith had earlier written about his reasons for the mammoth bike ride.

He wrote on the JustGiving site: “As much as this being a physical effort, it will also be a mental struggle, enduring a long dark night alone, knackered. Not to mention the long training sessions ahead of me to prepare.

“I have had my own misfortune to suffer from a spate of poor mental health, which was unexpected and has been a real ‘game changer’ in how I now view the future.

“It has been a tough road to get to this point, but I have been fortunate enough to have the support of my family and friends.

“There are those who are not so fortunate to have the same level of support and understanding. They suffer in silence and are alone.”

  • UPDATE 22/09/2014

Bethany Mackie (18) has been charged over the death of Christian Smith. Police said Mackie will appear at Canterbury Magistrates Court on 24th November 2014.

  • UPDATE 24/10/2014

Bethany Mackie appeared in Court where she was accused of causing death by dangerous driving. She was also charged with drink driving and failing to stop. The case was transferred to Canterbury Crown Court where she is due to appear for a preliminary hearing on 10th November.

  • UPDATE 10/11/14

The hearing has been postponed until 21st November.

  • UPDATE (21/11/2014)

Bethany Mackie pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving and driving with excess alcohol. She is due to be sentenced on 19th December.

  • UPDATE (19/12/2014)

Bethany Mackie was sentenced to five years in prison for causing the death of Christian Smith. She pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving and drink driving

CTC's view: 

CTC is deeply saddened by yet another unnecessary death on Britain’s roads. We are thinking of Mr Smith’s family.

CTC was asked to speak to local media about what cyclists can do to take precautions. We told the media that the issue here was almost certainly nothing to do with the cyclist and making such a comment was inappropriate.

However, this is typical of the media attitude – that, in the absence of anything that can be said about a suspect, commentary instead revolves around the victim.

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