Driver admits killing cyclist after being told not to drive because of failing eyesight

Hanno Garbe was hit by John Johnstone while the driver did not have a valid licence

A driver has admitted killing a cyclist after he was stopped from driving due to his failing eyesight.

John Johnstone hit and killed rider Hanno Garbe while driving near the Scottish town of Aviemore last march.

The 84-year-old driver had been told month earlier that he must not drive because he had cataracts in both eyes that seriously impacted his vision, the BBC reports. (opens in new tab)

On March 4 last year Johnstone was driving his Kia car on the B9152 when he hit 57-year-old Garbe from behind, who suffered multiple injuries to his head, chest and pelvis.

Despite being rushed to hospital Mr Garbe, described as a keen cyclist, died from his injuries the following day.

Johnstone appeared before the High Court in Edinburgh via video link this week and admitted causing death by dangerous driving.

He will be sentenced next month.

The court heard that after the fatal collision, Johnstone was given a roadside eyesight test by police but he could read a registration plate only at a distance of 4.8 metres, when the required distance is 20m.

He later told police that he did not see Mr Garbe prior to the collision.

In September 2018, Johnstone had visited an optometrist because he was struggling with his vision when watching television, playing golf or driving.

He was diagnosed with cataracts in both eyes and was given an interim ban on holding a driving licence until he had an operation.

Earlier this month, Cycling Weekly reported that the family of a cyclist killed on Yorkshire roads have said “he was stolen from us far too early.”

Adrian Hornby died after he was hit by a car travelling in the same direction and was left with serious head injuries.

Mr Hornby, 57, is believed to have been the third cyclist killed on Yorkshire roads during the coronavirus lockdown

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Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers.  Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.