Case Study

Cyclist killed in lorry collision on St Andrews Road, Avonmouth

Incident date: 
Thu, 25 Jul 2013

A cyclist died after his bike was in collision with a lorry at a road junction in Avonmouth, Bristol.

The accident happened on the A403 St Andrews Road at the Kingsweston Lane junction, at 19:00 BST on 25th July 2013.

An Avon and Somerset Police spokesman said the cyclist died at the scene and officers are appealing for witnesses.

The lorry driver, a 37-year-old man, was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving. He was bailed pending further inquiries.

  • UPDATE 26/03/14

The cyclist, 31-year-old David Moore, was killed on his 31st birthday.

Bristol Crown Court heard the cyclist crossed a pedestrian crossing on red and the driver crossed on green – but was found to be travelling at 51mph in a 40mph limit.

Colin Woolgar, 38, of Cedern Avenue, Elborough, Weston-super-Mare, pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving. The offence carries a maximum jail term of five years.

The court heard Woolgar’s defence team disputes prosecution claims he was using his mobile phone at the time of the tragedy.

Prosecution evidence citing near misses before the accident is also disputed and will have to be resolved before sentencing takes place next month. Woolgar was bailed and given an interim driving ban.

Members of Mr Moore’s family said they all would like to see a maximum sentence imposed in the case.

Mr Moore, right, of Shirehampton, worked for Accolade Wines based in Avonmouth and was divorced, without children. He had just finished a 12-hour shift when he was killed.

  • UPDATE (24/04/14)

Woolgar has been jailed for 14 months for causing David Moore’s death by careless driving. He was also banned from driving for three years and ordered to take an extended driving test before regaining his licence.

Delivery driver Woolgar had only had four hours’ sleep and was returning to Bristol from Torquay in Devon when he killed Mr Moore on St Andrew’s Road, Avonmouth, Bristol last July.

The court heard that Woolgar had been using his mobile phone to send and receive text messages and calls throughout the day despite being told by colleagues not to do so.

Prosecutor Rupert Lowe told the court that Tony Kirwan and Luke Davey were travelling with Woolgar that day making deliveries of furniture and described his driving as “poor” and “unimpressive”.

“Luke Davey said Colin Woolgar was messing with his phone all day and if he wasn’t using it, he was looking at it down on his lap,” Mr Lowe said.

“It was apparent during the journey he was texting on his mobile phone and on one occasion clipped the kerb.

“On another occasion he drifted across the lane causing another motorist to sound his horn, so Mr Kirwan said you have got to stop using your phone and the impression was that he continued to use his phone surreptitiously so that Mr Kirwan could not see it.

“Mr Davey thought he was rushing to get back home to play skittles and felt he was in a hurry when the collision happened.

“Mr Kirwan did not think Woolgar was in a rush but does recall him saying he wanted to be back to play skittles.”

Mr Lowe said that Woolgar sent 11 text messages while on the motorway and another four from other roads. He also received nine text messages in reply.

Around 40 minutes before the collision, Woolgar texted: “Sorry I missed your call, I am driving and I can’t always hear my mobile ring.”

And a five or six minutes before the crash Woolgar finished a 10-minute phone call with a friend of his then partner.

“He was not talking on the phone when the accident happened,” Mr Lowe said.

The court heard that Woolgar insisted he was using a Bluetooth hands free kit to make and receive telephone calls that day.

Seconds before the collision both Mr Kirwan and Mr Davey warned Woolgar about Mr Moore riding across the pedestrian crossing.

“Concerned that Woolgar had not seen him they shouted ‘woah woah cyclist’ or ’watch out’ and they both say that the defendant failed to react to the warning it was too late,” Mr Lowe said.

“Speed was a crucial factor and inattention prior to the collision was a significant factor and it is right to say that Mr Moore crossing against the lights was a significant factor.”

Passing sentence, Judge Picton said: “Your careless driving resulted in the death of Mr Moore. It was an obvious risk that Mr Moore would not stop. Had you been driving carefully and at the right speed the impact could have been avoided and Mr Moore would still be alive.”

CTC's view: 

There is substantial evidence that this driver drove dangerously over an extended period leading up to the crash and therefore should at least have faced an additional charge of dangerous driving.

CTC would have preferred to see a much longer driving ban imposed.

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