Motorist denies causing death of Northern Ireland cycling star b
Thursday, 4 February 2010
An Irish road racing cyclist died after his bike was hit by a speeding motorist hurrying to catch a flight from Belfast International Airport, a court heard yesterday.
Prosecution lawyers claimed that Michael Gerard Groome (26) from Cliftonville Road in Belfast was driving too fast and hit Commonwealth Games medallist David McCall as he veered his bike slightly to avoid a dog.
Groome is denying causing the death of Mr McCall by dangerous driving.
Mr McCall, 46, who represented Northern Ireland at major international competitions for decades, was taking part in a club cycle race in Co Antrim when his bike was hit by Groome’s Peugeot car on August 12, 2008.
A lawyer told a jury at Antrim Crown Court that after a small black dog ran out onto the Belfast Road at Nutt’s Corner in front of Mr McCall, he deviated slightly to his right and was struck by the overtaking Peugeot.
The bicycle, he said, was broken in two and Mr McCall, who was from Lisburn, was thrown into the air.
The lawyer said Groome initially didn’t stop but a short time later returned to the scene of the crash.
He said Groome was familiar with the road and was hurrying to catch a flight from Belfast International Airport.
The lawyer said he was driving too fast and too close to cyclists taking part in the race.
The lawyer said Groome told police he was driving at between 40 and 45 miles an hour, but he said eye-witnesses would testify that he overtook them at higher speeds.