Case Study

Cyclist dies in collision in Nantwich

Incident date: 
Tue, 12 Nov 2013

Emergency services were called at 1.40pm on Tuesday 12th November following reports of a collision between a lorry and a cyclist on the A530 Whitchurch Road at Baddington Bridge near Nantwich.

Sadly, the cyclist – named as 65-year-old Stewart Gandy, of Wistaston died at the scene.

The lorry driver drove off and is believed to have left in the direction of Whitchurch. The lorry is believed to be light coloured with blue or green markings on the side.

Police have arrested a man in connection with a fatal collision near Nantwich on Tuesday.

The 36-year-old was arrested in Wigan this afternoon. He remains in custody at this time.

Officers have now traced a lorry believed to be involved in the collision and enquiries are continuing.

At the time of the collision the lorry and the cyclist were travelling from Nantwich in the direction of Whitchurch near to Baddeley Bridge.

  • UPDATE (20/11/13)

Stewart Gandy’s family have paid tribute to their loved one.

They said: ”Stewart had recently renewed his acquaintance with an “old friend”: his bicycle.

“For many years, Stewart was a keen and highly proficient cyclist, winning many trophies when during his younger years he took part in competitive cycling as a member of the Crewe Clarion Cycling Club.

“Recently, he had taken up cycling again to help maintain his fitness but before doing so had ensured his bicycle was safe to ride by completely stripping it down, renewing important parts, incorporating extra safety features, a skill he had learnt over many years from working in a cycle shop.

A 36-year-old man has been bailed in connection with Mr Gandy’s death.

  • UPDATE (16/05/14)

Paul Anthony Byrne, 36, has been charged with causing death by dangerous driving.

He is due to appear at South Cheshire Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday May 20th.

  • UPDATE (22/05/14)

Byrne appeared at Crewe Magistrates’ Court on May 20th and magistrates sent the case to Chester Crown Court, where he will appear on June 4th.

He was released on bail until then.

  • UPDATE (10/03/15)

Appearing in Chester Crown Court, Byrne has said he is adamant he did not see a cyclist on the approach to a narrow bridge near Nantwich claiming ‘how can I explain something that I have not seen?’.

Mr Byrne took to the stand on day seven of the trial and said he would have recalled passing over something, because ‘you remember things when there is a reason to remember’.

The Hitchen Foods cab driver, who has three points on his license for speeding, claimed during police interview he stopped before the bridge next to a duck pond after hearing a rattling noise, which he thought sounded like it was coming from the near side foot well.

He retracted his statement in court and agreed he stopped next to a gate on the other side of the bridge.

He said: “I thought I knew the road reasonably well but obviously I don’t, I was very surprised how close the duck pond is to the bridge.”

Police officers told the court Mr Byrne was ‘not surprised to see us’ when he was arrested at his work address the day after the incident.

Officer in the case, Constable Burke, attended Hitchen Foods headquarters in Wigan, because he had reasonable grounds to suspect a Hitchen Foods vehicle was involved in the collision.

In a statement read out by prosecuting barrister Nicholas Williams, Constable Burke said, after questioning Byrne, he appeared to be calm and didn’t make a comment as to why the officers were arresting him.

He said: “Mr Byrne was in the canteen and when he came through I spoke to him and my initial statement was, do you have any reason to understand why I’m here? He said yes.

“He referred to an incident the previous day and said his vehicle was stopped and checked.

“I informed him there had been a fatal road traffic incident and had reasonable grounds to suspect the vehicle he was driving had been involved, in which he gave no reply.”

PC Hill, was one of the first officers to arrive at the scene, he came across a second unrelated road traffic incident near Shropshire, where the vehicle had jacked into a nearby field.

PC Hill said: “I asked Mr Byrne where he had been and which route had he taken, he said he came from the A530 from Nantwich and said it must have been 1:20pm when he came across the bridge.

“I was looking at the wagon but I didn’t know what I was looking for. The wagon was full of marks, he said there was a problem with the near side head lights.

“I was not interested with this man at that time, he was the only lorry driver I spoke to and I can only act on the evidence I was given.”

The trial continues.

  • UPDATE 13/03/15

Paul Byrne has been found not guilty of causing death by dangerous driving. He pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of causing death by careless driving.

Nicholas Williams went on to say in his closing statement that Mr Byrne ‘knew that bridge and knew those lights’. Around the corner ‘he should have had a clear view of up to 200 metres’ and said: “He should have seen him in plenty of time to stop. Instead he ploughed straight into him and killed him. Is this careless or just plain dangerous?”

Defending barrister Nicola Esterian Gatto told the court that environmental issues such as a low winter sun and hedgerow shadows ‘could have hindered the view’ of cab driver Byrne as he came round the bend travelling towards the bridge and had called expert witness James Manning during the trial to give his opinion on the possible effects of glare caused by moisture on the road.

He agreed that Byrne would have had a clear and unobstructed view of the bridge traffic lights for 200 metres.

The tacograph which was fitted to Mr Byrne’s vehicle hadn’t recorded any sudden braking when reaching or passing over the bridge and Ms Gatto suggested this supported evidence that Mr Byrne had not seen Mr Gandy.

Paul Byrne will return to court on April 17 for sentencing.

  • UPDATE 08/05/15

Paul Byrne has received a 12 month jail sentence and a 12 month driving ban for causing the death of Stewart Gandy by careless driving.

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