Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Careless driver guilty of killing Kirkcaldy cyclist

Gary Christie Image copyright Police Scotland
Image caption Gary Christie was a loving and devoted father to his two sons, Lewis and Ryan

A man has been found guilty of causing the death of a cyclist in Kirkcaldy.

A jury at High Court in Edinburgh found David Gordon guilty of causing the death of Gary Christie by careless driving in Carberry Road on 1 November 2016.

It had earlier unanimously found a dangerous driving charge against the 56-year-old not proven.

Father-of-two Mr Christie died in the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh two weeks after the incident.

Gordon was accused of driving his red Vauxhall Corsa in the early hours of the morning while the windscreen was obscured.

He crossed over into the opposing carriageway to overtake a cyclist when it was not safe to do so, colliding with Mr Christie on his mountain bike, causing severe injury and death.

'In a bad way'

Joiner Scott Shields, the cyclist whom Gordon overtook, told the court it was dry but frosty at about 06:30 when he was cycling up the road towards the brow of the hill on the unclassified road.

There was a cycle path at the side of road, but it was not well maintained and he used the road instead.

He saw another cyclist, Mr Christie, coming over the brow of the hill in the opposite direction with flashing lights on his cycle.

Mr Shields said a car went past him: "I heard a bang just a second after he (the motorist) passed. I got off my bike and ran to the guy lying on the road.

"The car had stopped just a wee bit further on," he said.

Mr Shields said the other cyclist was "in a bad way", bleeding from his head, ears, nose and mouth.

Image caption Carberry Road in Kirkcaldy, where the collision took place

He said the driver of the car came over to him and asked if he could help.

Mr Shields said: "He asked how the guy was and I just said he was in a bad way.

"The driver looked as if he was in shock. He was distressed and almost passed out".

A young woman, Anna Kurowska, said she had been talking to her grandmother in Poland on her phone when she saw a red car going past one cyclist and trying to pass another on the other side of the road, and she heard a noise.

She said she thought the car had hit an animal, a deer or something, and then saw a man fly over the front of the car and fall to the ground.

'Head-on impact'

"He looked at me for a few minutes and then closed his eyes", she added.

PC Paul MacPherson, the accident investigator, said there was moisture in the air, the sun was just coming up and there was dew on the road. The cyclist, who had been knocked down was wearing a dark blue helmet, black cycling top with white side panels and black cycling trousers with white stripes.

There had been a head-on impact between the car and bike with the bike's front wheel lodged into the front grid of the car, the handlebars forced onto the bonnet, denting it, and the cyclist being ejected over the car after hitting the windscreen.

PC MacPherson said there was condensation on the car's windscreen that could have led to loss of visibility and the driver could not see the cyclist.

When the jury returned their verdict it was revealed that Gordon had previous road traffic offences, including two for speeding.

Judge, Lord Menzies, deferred sentence on Gordon until 12 October for reports, disqualified him from driving and ordered him to hand in any driving licence he had to Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court.

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