The driver of the car that hit and killed cycling stalwart Rob Jefferies in May has pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving.
Seventeen-year-old Lee Cahill was driving along the A351 near Wareham, Dorset, when he struck Jefferies from behind on 26 May 2011. Jefferies was on a training ride with a friend.
Cahill had passed his driving test in January 2011, and had been convicted of speeding in April 2011, just a month before colliding with Jefferies.
Jefferies widow, Jane, addressed Weymouth Magistrates Court during the hearing: “I feel angry about a system that allows young drivers to take on a responsibility for other’s lives that they are not ready for. I feel sorry for Lee that he has had to find that out the hard way and have his life ruined as his actions have ruined ours.”
Penny Knight of Leigh Day & Co solicitors who represented Mrs Jefferies said: “The real tragedy here is the sheer waste of life and what could have been. Not only losing the huge impact Rob had yet to make on his family but also his impact on so many others who he would have led and guided.
“It is also about the loss of a future for Mr Cahill. Here is a boy who as a man will forever recall what he did and what he took away. He has to live with that. If anything good comes from this we hope that his friends see what he has done and think twice when they falsely believe they are competent enough to drive recklessly.”
Cahill has been disqualified for driving and awaits sentencing on January 12 2012.
Jefferies was a stalwart of the British cycling scene, serving as British Cycling’s volunteer co-ordinator as well as riding at a high level in track and time trial events.
Jefferies was a well known figure in the UK cycling scene, both for his riding and the support and encouragement he gave to others in the sport. He was a member of Poole Wheelers CC.