A Glasgow taxi driver has been fined £400 after hitting a cyclist from Dundee – who later died – with his driver’s door.
Joseph Connelly, 54, parked his taxi on Keppochhill Road, Glasgow on May 20, last year and opened the door as David Thomson was passing on his bike.
Connelly hit the pensioner who fell off his bicycle and suffered severe head injuries.
Glasgow Sheriff Court heard the 67-year-old, originally from Dundee, was taken to hospital but tragically died later.
Connelly, from Garnethill, Glasgow, pleaded guilty to opening the door while it was parked “to the endangerment and injury” of Mr Thomson.
He admitted opening the door and causing Mr Thomson to come off his bike and hit his head on the ground, causing a severe head injury.
Fining Connelly, Sheriff Celia Sanderson said the incident was “tragic” and she noted her “surprise” at the charge Connelly faced.
She pointed out he had not been charged with causing Mr Thomson’s death.
Procurator fiscal depute Wendy McDonald said the offence took place around 7.45pm when Connelly parked his hackney taxi with the intention of crossing the road.
She said: “He opened his door of this vehicle and the complainer has been cycling passed.
“Contact has been made causing Mr Thomson, now deceased, to fall off his bike.
“He sustained severe head injuries and later died as a result of the fall.”
When questioned at the scene Connelly said: “He didn’t hit the door, he swerved round it and lost control.”
Defence lawyer Robert Sheridan said on Connelly’s behalf that initially he thought he had not hit Mr Thomson and believed it was his satchel bag that clipped the door.
Mr Sheridan added that Connelly’s car was parked just after a bend on the road and that a private hire taxi had double parked on the bend which the cyclist had to go round before moving back in, beside the other parked cars.
The lawyer said his client now accepts that although he checked before getting out of his car, given the position of the other taxi “the responsibility was on him to go further than he would normally to ensure there was no other hazards there”.
He said Connelly is “devastated” adding “It’s something that will live with him for a considerable period of time”.
The court heard there is CCTV of the incident although it wasn’t played to the court.
“A living nightmare”
Mr Thomson’s daughter Becky, who still lives in Dundee, told The Courier she is angry that Connelly originally tried to deny his role in the accident.
She said: “The last year and a half has been a living nightmare.”