Case Study

77-year-old woman killed cycling in Wilmslow, driver sentenced for causing death by careless

Incident date: 
Sat, 24 Nov 2012

The woman was hit by a Porsche Boxster, driven by a 50-year-old woman at 10:30.

The crash occurred on Wilmslow Road in Wilmslow, however, local news reports do not specify which of the many Wilmslow Roads it was. No arrest has been made.

A Road Justice supporter sent in this comment: “The lady was hit by a Porsche outside the Porsche garage in Handforth (2mls north of Wilmslow). She has used her bike daily to ride from Handforth to visit her husband’s grave at the cemetery on Manchester Road near the Bluebell for as long as I can remember. Her son also died a few years ago as well in a tragic accident.”

  • UPDATE 19/08/13

CTC’s campaigner in Cheshire has reported that the female driver has pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving and will be sentenced later this month.

  • UPDATE

The driver, Tracy Capal, has been sentenced at Cheshire Crown Court to a suspended jail term, a 2-year driving ban and ordered to pay £1300 in court costs for causing death by careless driving.

The court heard that Capal had no idea she had hit Mrs Ward and had to be notified by a witness who knocked on her car window after she’d parked the car in the Porsche garage.

Andrew Hussey, prosecuting, said: “The car hit the front wheel knocking it off balance.
“Mrs Ward fell heavily into the carriage way, causing serious head and chest injuries and sadly this proved to be fatal. Unaware of the collision the defendant continued her manoeuvre into the Porsche centre and parked.Unaware of the collision the defendant continued her manoeuvre into the Porsche centre and parked.”

The defendant later said she considered she had enough time to go past. She admitted to making a grave error in judgement.

Sentencing Capal, who has raised thousands for charity with sponsored bike rides, Judge Elgan Edwards said: “You are a decent woman with a fine record of charitable work but you misjudged the situation. It was an error of judgement.

“Nothing I can say or do will bring back the life of a much loved mother. She met her death as a result of your driving. This is a really tragic case and I feel very much for the family.”

In a statement, Mrs Ward’s son, Derek, said: “If anything good could possibly comes out of this case it should be that we should all concentrate on our driving and be more aware of cyclists, pedestrians and other road users as accidents can happen in a split second.

CTC's view: 

The driver should have been given a considerably longer driving ban and ordered to take an extended re-test before re-obtaining her licence.

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