Hampshire Driver Banned Over Death Of Young Cyclist

17 August 2016, 09:39

William Houghton cyclist death Wickham

A woman, who caused a 20-year-old cyclist's death in a crash in Hampshire, has been banned from driving for a year.

William Houghton died in hospital after January's collision on the A32 at Wickham.

Jeannette Smith, who's 69 and from Little Corner in Denmead, pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving.

The court heard how Smith was the driver of a white Citroen C3 which was in collision with William.

The collision happened on the A32 at Wickham, on 28 January 2016, shortly before 11.15am. Mr Houghton was taken to hospital but died the next day from his injuries.

Smith appeared at Portsmouth Magistrates on Tuesday 16 August, where she pleaded guilty and was sentenced.

She was given a 12 month community order to carry out 60 hours of unpaid work and disqualified from driving for 12 months. She was also ordered to pay a total of £165 in costs and fines.

Paying tribute to their son after the sentencing, Will's parents Liz and Richard Houghton said: 

"Our grief for our loving, passionate, driven and wonderful son Will is deep.

"He was a handsome, motivated and fun 20-year-old and is missed dearly by his family and friends.

"His new racing bike, delivered two weeks after he was killed, will never be ridden and we will never know if he would have achieved his driving ambition to be a professional cyclist.

"While the 20 years he spent with us were far too short, we are grateful that he lived them to the full and left us all with happy memories and a belief that we should all strive to be the very best version of ourselves we can be.

"We welcome Mrs Smith's decision to plead guilty to death by careless driving and hope that Will's tragic death will act as a reminder to all drivers that they must be alert to cyclists at all times."

Speaking after the sentencing PC Lucy Hawkins, from the Serious Collision Investigation Unit, added: "This was a tragic incident which has had a devastating impact on William's family.

"I would just like to take this opportunity to remind motorists that they must give the road their complete attention 100 per cent of the time because any lapse in concentration could have fatal consequences.

"Drivers need to be alert at all times so that they are aware of their surroundings."