Charity cyclists killed – lorry driver jailed
Two cyclists were killed following a collision with a lorry during a charity bike ride from Land’s End to John O’Groats. Robert Palmer, 32, from Cornwall, pleaded guilty to two charges of causing death by dangerous driving.
Road deaths – July 2013, Newquay
Andrew McMenigall and Toby Wallace were taking part in a charity bike ride to raise money for their chosen charities (the Kirsten Scott Memorial Trust and the Edinburgh-based It’s Good 2 Give).
The incident occurred 40 miles into their journey, on a stretch of the A30.
Although Mr Palmer’s vehicle was incapable of speeding, and despite good visibility, witnesses reported that action was not taken to avoid the foreseeable collision – the prosecution claimed that Palmer was fatigued, and had deliberately falsified his rest record.
Lorry driver sentenced
Judge Christopher Harvey Clark, Truro Crown Court, sentenced Palmer to seven and a half years for each count of causing death by dangerous driving, but added that these sentences would be served concurrently. Judge Clark stated that half of the sentence would be served in jail, and half on licence.
Palmer was also sentenced to a further one year in prison for a separate count of dangerous driving that occurred 11 weeks after the fatal incident.
Judge Clark commented that Palmer had “almost certainly” fallen asleep at the wheel due to “extreme fatigue and exhaustion”. Palmer is now banned from driving for 10 years.