Motorist cleared of causing death of cyclist Colin Crowther by careless driving

Colin Crowther

Colin Crowther - Credit: Archant

A motorist who claimed he was blinded by the sun as he collided with a 69-year-old cyclist has been cleared of causing his death by careless driving.

Sam Burrows, 29, was driving along the Capel St Mary-bound carriageway of the Old London Road at Copdock when he struck the back of a bike being ridden by retired planning officer Colin Crowther, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

The impact caused Mr Crowther, of Brackenhayes Close, Ipswich, to come off his bike and hit the near side windscreen of Burrows’ car before somersaulting over the car and landing on the ground.

Burrows, a web designer of Clive Avenue, Ipswich, denied causing Mr Crowther’s death by careless driving on January 16 last year and was unanimously found not guilty by a jury after a three-day trial.

Giving evidence, Burrows said he had been on his way to work at around 2.30pm and as he turned on to the Old London Road he lowered his sun visor as a precaution because he could see the sun ahead of him.

He had slowed down by taking his foot of the accelerator and put it over the brake pedal as a precaution in case he needed to brake.

“All of a sudden without warning I was blinded by the sun. It was a mixture of glare coming off the road and my bonnet,” said Burrows.

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He said he had squinted and within one or two seconds he heard a bang.

Asked by his barrister Stephen Rose if there was anything he could have done to have avoided the collision Burrows said: “I’m really sorry about the outcome, but I honestly don’t think there was anything I could have done to avoid it.”

On the day of the collision Mr Crowther, a keen cyclist, was riding a semi professional lightweight road bike and wearing a helmet and a fluorescent yellow bib.

The speed limit was 50mph and it was accepted that Burrows had been driving at 39-47mph.

Mr Crowther was taken to hospital following the collision but died later that night.

After Mr Crowther’s death his family described him as “a kind, thoughtful, man.”

Paying tribute to him they said: “Colin was a quiet private man, however his kind, thoughtful and considerate presence was welcomed by neighbours, former work colleagues together with his family and friends.

“His sudden absence from the community will be sorely felt, particularly by his two granddaughters who idolised their ‘Grandpop’.”

Mr Crowther is survived by his wife, a brother, two children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces and a great nephew.