Case Study

Dr Helen Measures, cleared of killing 21-year-old cyclist Denisa Perinova by careless driving

Incident date: 
Sun, 15 Jul 2012

Dr Helen Measures has been cleared of causing Denisa Perinova’s death by careless driving by a jury at Oxford Crown Court.

Dr Measures had been trying to overtake two cyclists but collided with waitress Denisa Perinova, who was cycling with her boyfriend Ben Pontin on the other side of the road.

Dr Measures said she was ‘surprised’ to see Mr Pontin and Miss Perinova suddenly emerge coming towards her as she rounded the curve in the road, but felt they still had enough room to get past.

She said ‘ I had to make a decision of what to do, I felt the safest decision was to continue straight ahead because they were in single file. If I had been concerned, I would have stopped suddenly.’

The first cyclist, Mr Pontin, went past her. However, Miss Perinova came at her at a ‘right angle’ after losing control of her bike.

Dr Measures told the court: ‘I can’t help it if a cyclist, with all due respect, falls over as I’m approaching them and comes into my line of travel.’

Mr Pontin had earlier told the jury he saw Dr Measures make a ‘stupid manoeuvre’ in front of them on a bend in the A415.

Describing the moment the oncoming car overtook the cyclists on the opposite side of the road, he said: ‘I just couldn’t believe the person driving had overtaken at that point.’

Mr Pontin said he was forced to aim for a ‘tiny’ gap and then felt his girlfriend’s wheel touch the back of his bike before looking around and seeing she had been flung away in the collision.

Miss Perinova was flung 15 yards away and, despite wearing a helmet, died in hospital from severe head injuries a week later.

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