Driver cleared of killing cyclist after claiming 'no recollection' of fatal crash

The crash occurred in 2018, with the jury's verdict delivered yesterday

Police Leicestershire PCSO
(Image credit: Getty Images)

A driver has been cleared of causing the death of a cyclist after claiming she didn't remember the collision. 

Scottish motorist Jordan McDowall, 21, of Erskine, has been acquitted of causing death by dangerous driving after a Glasgow jury returned a not proven verdict, The Gazette (opens in new tab) have reported. 

Ms McDowall was alleged to have caused the death of cyclist Kevin Gilchrist, 51, in Renfrewshire on 28 July 2018.

The charge included allegations that she wasn't paying attention to the road, causing her to veer into the opposite lane of oncoming traffic, where Kevin Gilchrist was cycling. She and her Ford Fiesta allegedly collided with Mr Gilchrist, however, the 21-year-old claimed that she couldn't remember the collision, stating there was a "gap" in her memory.

Mr Gilchrist died as a result of serious injuries to the chest. 

Ms McDowall, a fully licensed driver for just seven weeks at the time of the incident, claimed that the last thing she remembered was turning at a roundabout. She also told the court she had "no recollection" of the collision, while also denying a witness statement suggesting she was on her phone after getting out of her car following the incident.

Prosecutor Paul Kearney QC asked Ms McDowall: "Is it not the case you were fully conscious but for whatever reason not paying attention to the road ahead?"

Ms McDowall replied: "No."

Mr Kearney said: "If the witness is right, it means you were conscious enough and alert enough to be using your phone straight after an episode of loss of consciousness and memory."

Ms McDowall responded: "I don't know what happened."

After her acquittal of the charge, Judge Lord Armstrong told Ms McDowall: "As you have heard, the jury has acquitted you. You are free to leave the dock."

Members of Mr Gilchrist's family were in tears following the verdict, which clears Ms McDowall, who was also crying with relief at the jury's decision. 

The verdict returned by the jury was not proven, an alternative verdict used in Scottish courts. 

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Staff Writer

Ryan is a staff writer for Cycling Weekly, having joined the team in September 2021. He first joined Future in December 2020, working across FourFourTwo, Golf Monthly, Rugby World and Advnture's websites, before making his way to cycling. After graduating from Cardiff University with a degree in Journalism and Communications, Ryan earned a NCTJ qualification to further develop as a writer.