An elderly driver who caused the death of a mother-of-two taking part in a charity cycle ride while overtaking two vehicles on a twisting road was spared jail because of his advanced years.
Kenneth McClelland, 78, who suffers from angina and arthritis, was returning with his wife from a caravan holiday, when he overtook a “slow, elderly camper-van”, and the car behind it on a mountain pass, ploughing into 49-year-old endurance athlete Sally Preece who was coming the other way on her bike.
The wing mirror of his Volvo S40 R-design D4, caught Mrs Preece’s handlebars, and then she was caught by the wheel of a bike that McClelland himself was carrying on a rack on the back of his car.
She was thrown more than 30 metres, coming to rest in the middle of the single-carriageway A85 trunk road in Glen Ogle, near Killin, Perthshire.
A motorcyclist found her lying in “a foetal position”.
Mrs Preece, from Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, was a week into the nine day Land’s-End-to-John-O’Groats challenge when the tragedy occurred on September 12, 2014.
She had been taking part in the 969-mile Deloitte Ride Across Britain to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society.
Stirling Sheriff Court heard that the day after she was pronounced brain dead, a transplant team removed her organs to help others.
McClelland, a retired civil engineer, of Auchenmaid Drive, Largs, Ayrshire, pleaded guilty to causing her death by careless driving.
Solicitor Alexander Currie, said McClelland, who had a 55-year unblemished driving record before the accident “tendered his condolences” to Mrs Preece’s family.
“Over the past 14 or 15 months he has only been able to imagine how bereft they are at the loss of their dear one,” Mr Currie continued.
“When he did see Mrs Preece it was too late to avoid contact.
“He will punish himself for the rest of his life for what he has done. A man who was once energetic and easy going is now subdued and introverted, as a direct result of this.”
Sheriff William Gilchrist told McClelland: “These were tragic events, obviously for Mrs Sally Preece, but also for her family.
“Given your age, I do not think it would be appropriate to impose a short period of imprisonment, which would be essentially a matter of weeks.”
He sentenced McClelland to carry out 300 hours of unpaid work and banned him from driving for five years.
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