Driver killed cyclist while adjusting sat-nav

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Driver killed cyclist while adjusting sat-nav

A motorist knocked down and killed a cyclist after taking her eyes off the road to operate her satellite navigation system, a court has heard.

38-year-old Victoria McClure struck Anthony Hilson on the A4 in Berkshire and told police she had not seen him on his bike until it was too late, despite being on a straight stretch of the road in conditions providing good visibility.

Reading Crown Court heard that McClure was on the way to a baby shower when she diverted her attention from the road to the navigation device for up to eighteen seconds before the collision occurred.

McClure has admitted causing death by careless driving but denies the far more grave charge of causing death by dangerous driving.

Matthew Walsh, prosecuting, said that 46-year-old Mr Hilson was killed after being struck from behind on a 500m straight part of the road.

Addressing the court, he said: "Assuming she's travelling at the speed limit of 60mph, it takes about 18 seconds to cover the distance - that's the length of time she would have had the cyclist in her view. In other words, she had a window of about 18 seconds - maybe more, of course, if she was going slower - approaching the cyclist in order to see him. But she didn't.

"Did she try and take any avoiding action, braking or steering? Well, from the witnesses that were in the general area, nobody heard the sound of braking or horns or anything of that nature. There weren't any skid marks on the road to suggest emergency braking or any evasive action."

A pathologist confirmed that Mr Hilson died of head and chest injuries described as "devastating and unsurvivable".

The trial, which is expected to last around three days, continues.