Careless driver fined after Sunderland cyclist killed

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A DRIVER has been fined £1,000 after he hit a cyclist who died after he was hit by a second car.

Stan Coates died after he was ploughed into by two Corsa vehicles as he cycled along Burdon Lane in Sunderland on October 26 2012.

The 55-year-old, from West Herrington, who was conscious and able to speak after the first car hit him, died in hospital in the early hours of the following morning.

Michael Elton, 26, of Rothbury Road, Newton Hall, who knocked Mr Coates off his bike when he hit him first, was cleared of causing death by careless driving.

Edward Peverley, 21, of Hetton Moor Farm, Easington Lane, who hit the injured cyclist minutes later while he was lying on the road, was cleared of the same charge.

Jurors found Elton guilty of the alternative, lesser, charge of careless driving.

The court heard both drivers had been blinded by the sun when the tragedy happened.

Jurors concluded that while Elton was travelling too fast for the conditions that day, although he was within the speed limit, reducing his speed may not have prevented the tragedy.

Judge Paul Sloan QC ordered him to pay £400 fine, £600 costs and said his licence must be endorsed with five points.

Judge Sloan told him: “ The Highway Code makes clear at the very least you should have slowed, you should have braked at the moment you were dazzled by the sun but you didn’t, you carried on as before.

“The jury no doubt concluded on the evidence that the collision would or may have occurred in any event, had you slowed to an appropriate speed.

“You are not to be sentenced for causing death by careless driving, that plays no part in the sentence I impose on you.”

The judge said he had in mind the assistance Elton gave to the injured man at the scene and added: “The death of Mr Coates will live with you for the rest of your life.”

Robert Woodcock QC, defending, said Elton now lives in Hampshire with his partner and has a steady job and otherwise clean driving record.

Mr Woodcock said: “This decent young man will have to live with the rest of his days.”