Driver jailed after killing cyclist and triathlete, 80, while using Whatsapp 

Paige Blake has been jailed for causing the death of Freddie Oborne 

A driver who was using Whatsapp behind the wheel when she killed an 80-year-old cyclist and triathlete has been jailed.

Paige Blake was driving her Ford Fiesta near Hatfield, Hertfordshire last April when she hit and killed Freddie Oborne. 

Mr Oborne, described by his family as a “keen athlete who particularly loved cycling and triathlons,” died at the scene from his injuries as police arrested the driver on suspicions of causing death by dangerous driving.

Blake, 24, of Longwood Road, Hertford, pleaded guilty to causing Mr Oborne’s death at St Albans Crown Court, and was jailed on April 16 for 30 months, the BBC reports. 

The driver, who is pregnant, has also been banned from driving for four years and three months. 

Paige Blake has been jailed for killing cyclist Freddie Oborne (Picture: Hertfordshire Police)

After Mr Oborne’s death, his family released a tribute, saying: “ “Our dearly loved dad, grand and great granddad. He will forever be in our hearts and minds, and he has now been reunited with his beloved Liz where he belongs.” 

The crash happened on the A414 dual carriageway near Hatefield House, Hatfield on April 20, when Blake hit Oborne with her car. 

It later emerged that Blake had been talking to her sister on mobile messaging app WhatsApp at the time of the crash. 

Mr Oborne is father to two daughters, a son, and had seven grandchildren.

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His daughter Caroline told the Welwyn Hatfield Times (opens in new tab) newspaper: "It's never going to bring my dad back.

 "Whether it had been two months, five years or 10 years. It will never bring my dad back, but at least I hope people will reflect when they pick up their mobile phone, or Facetime while driving at a speed. 

“Don't do it, Don't do it because this is what happens.

"Too many people get killed on bikes at the moment by people being reckless."

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Alex Ballinger
Alex Ballinger

Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for 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.