Court told of charity cyclist's death

A car collided with a cyclist taking part in a charity bike ride through Telford after the driver bent down to pick up his sat nav when it fell from the vehicle’s windscreen, a court heard today.

A car collided with a cyclist taking part in a charity bike ride through Telford after the driver bent down to pick up his sat nav when it fell from the vehicle’s windscreen, a court heard today.

Cyclist Arthur Platt, 37, was airlifted to hospital after the collision on the A442 Eastern Primary near Oakengates but later died, the court was told.

Stuart Alan Cook, 47, of Bromsgrove, Worcestershire denies causing the death of Mr Platt by dangerous driving.

Mr Platt had been taking part in a John O’Groats to Land’s End cycle ride when the accident happened on July 6, last year.

Ms Samantha Crabbe, prosecuting at Shrewsbury Crown Court, said Mr Platt had been cycling on the A442 Queensway, a dual carriageway at about 1pm.

“At the same time Cook was driving a BMW southbound on the road.

Ms Crabbe said he had been returning home from a meeting.

“Cook became distracted by his ‘sat nav’ which had fallen from his windscreen into the passenger side foot well,” she said.

“He bent down, taking his lefthand off the steering wheel to retrieve it, the car veered to the left and collided straight into the back of Mr Platt’s bicycle.”

Ms Crabbe said the prosecution would allege that Cook not only bent down to retrieve the system but then continued to check that its screen was still illuminated.

The court was told Mr Platt, of Lyndhurst, Hampshire, was airlifted to hospital but died the same day.

Ms Crabbe said Cook had conceded that he was criminally negligent for Mr Platt’s death by pleading guilty to driving carelessly.

She said: “But the prosecution maintain his actions were not just careless by dangerous.

“It was only at the point of impact that Cook looked up. That level of inattention and loss of control of his vehicle makes, we say, him guilty of causing death by dangerous driving.”

Cook told the police he took his eyes off the road momentarily for two or three seconds and told another driver at the scene that he had only looked down for a second.

The trial continues.