Case Study

Cyclist, David Parris, dies after collision with Ford escort driver in Bicester - driver charged with causing death by careless driving

Incident date: 
Tue, 4 Dec 2012

Paramedics alerted Thames Valley Police to the incident shortly before 6pm and reported a collision between a silver Ford Escort and a cyclist on the A4421 Neunkirchen Way, near to Langford Village.

The cyclist, a 48-year-old man from Banbury, was taken to the JR2 Hospital in Oxford, where he was pronounced dead.

The driver of the Ford, a man, was spoken to by officers at the scene.

Sgt Julie Daglish, investigating the incident, said: “This collision happened on a busy road and I am keen to speak to anyone who witnessed the collision, or saw the car or cyclist beforehand.”

Anyone with any information should contact Sgt Daglish via the 24-hour Police Enquiry Centre on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

There was no mention of an arrest.

  • UPDATE (03/1013)

35-year-old Daniel Fallaw, of Peregrine Way, Bicester, is due to attend a plea and case management hearing for a charge of causing the death of David Parris by careless driving on October 28th at Oxford Crown Court.

He has not yet entered a plea and was granted bail.

  • UPDATE (14/01/14)

Daniel Fallaw denies causing death by careless driving.

Prosecutor Iain Wicks said: “It was as this defendant was coming off the roundabout on to Neunkirchen Way that his vehicle struck Mr Parris on his bicycle side-on. Mr Parris suffered serious and non-survivable injuries.”

The barrister said Mr Parris, who worked at Bullingdon prison, suffered a serious brain injury when he hit his head on the car windscreen and died in the ambulance on the way to Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital.

Mr Wicks said: “The prosecution case is that this was a collision that was avoidable.”

He also referred to what he described as “the manner of driving, the choice of speed, the route that he (Fallaw) took across the roundabout and his failure, we say, properly to heed overall conditions of lighting and traffic.”

On the second day of the trial the court heard from a van driver who witnessed the crash that Fallaw did not indicate or break before he hit Mr Parris. Reginald Hazell said ‘The car just zoomes past me. I could see a fluorescent jacket in the road and I was thinking he isn’t going to stop. The next thing there was a collision’.

  • UPDATE (17/01/14)

Daniel Fallaw has been found guilty of causing David Parris’ death by careless driving.

A jury took one hour and 55 minutes to find him guilty.

He was released on bail and will be sentenced on February 13.

  • UPDATE (27/02/14)

A Road Justice campaigner attended the sentencing of Daniel Fallaw at Oxford Crown Court today and reported the following:

Mr Fallaw was given a 36 week sentence and 24 month driving ban for causing David Parris’ death by careless driving. He was also ordered to sit an extended driving test and to pay an £80 victim surcharge.

Oxford Crown Court heard how Mr Parris had started to cross the central reservation on the exit of the roundabout when professional driver, Mr Fallaw, appeared in the outside lane going too fast to avoid him. Mr Fallaw overtook two vehicles in the inside lane and did not indicate as he exited the roundabout.

Michael Roques, prosecuting, said Mr Fallaw’s Ford Escort collided with Mr Parris following “a sustained course of bad driving”.

Although Mr Fallaw did not have any previous convictions for driving offences he had received three penalty points for speeding in 2006.

The court heard how Mr Fallaw used his coat to comfort the cyclist at the scene.

The judge emphasised that this was not a case of a momentary lapse of attention. He also emphasised that the level of offence was ‘at the top of the sentencing bracket’.

CTC's view: 

Judges do not always impose extended retests for causing death by careless driving, so it is encouraging to see one imposed in this case. However, a two year driving ban is far too short for driving that caused a death.

CTC is calling for greater use of extended driving bans and re-education in sentencing for driving offences.

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