£200k for widow of dead cy­clist

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Your Telegraph - By BEN TRUSLOVE ben.truslove@pe­ter­bor­oughto­day.co.uk @Et­ben­truslove

A WIDOW whose hus­band was killed by a lorry driver has ac­cepted £200,000 com­pen­sa­tion but “just wanted an apol­ogy”.

Pop­u­lar Basil Clarke, known as Bas, was knocked from his bi­cy­cle on the A1 suf­fer­ing hor­rific in­juries and dy­ing two days later in hospi­tal in Septem­ber 2009.

His widow Jane (64), who lives near Stam­ford, has ac­cepted the com­pen­sa­tion for his death, two weeks be­fore a hear­ing which would have been heard in open court.

Jane said: “This set­tle­ment won’t even come close to mak­ing up for los­ing Bas. He was such a big char­ac­ter and a friend to so many peo­ple – we miss him ev­ery sin­gle day.

“Cy­cling was his pas­sion. He had been a mem­ber of var­i­ous cy­cling clubs for 50 years and was in­cred­i­bly fit for a man of 65 years old.

“There’s no doubt in my mind that Bas had ex­cel­lent road sense, he cy­cled on the A1 ev­ery week for years.

“All I ever re­ally wanted was an apol­ogy from the driver of the HGV but, de­spite be­ing given the op­por­tu­nity to say sorry, he never has.”

Bas was knocked from his bike on the south­bound car­riage­way of the A1 at Tick­en­cote in Rut­land.

Lorry driver Karel Se­divy, from the Czech Repub­lic, pleaded guilty at Le­ices­ter Crown Court to caus­ing death by dan­ger­ous driv­ing.

It was found Se­divy, who served less than six months of his 16month sen­tence, did not at­tempt to change the speed or al­ter the course of his 7.5-tonne ve­hi­cle.

Bas was a keen cy­clist and joined the Le­ices­ter­shire-based Rockingham For­est Wheel­ers group as a 15-year-old, reg­u­larly win­ning tro­phies around the coun­try.

He was a renowned stone ma­son who worked with BBC Gar­dener’s Ques­tion Time’s Bunny Guin­ness, from Thorn­haugh, on her en­try to the Chelsea Flower Show.

He was also known through­out Rut­land for his duck-breed­ing skills and would reg­u­larly raise more than 1,000 chicks to be sold around the county.

He kept 80 dif­fer­ent species of or­na­men­tal wa­ter­fowl and his pas­sion landed him on BBC’S Coun­try­file and in the na­tional pa­pers.

Fol­low­ing his death and the early re­lease of Se­divy, Jane teamed up with so­lic­i­tors Rus­sell Jones and Walker to cam­paign for im­proved safety.

They joined forces with the UK’S Na­tional Cy­clists’ Or­gan­i­sa­tion to call for more driver aware­ness train­ing be­fore li­cences are is­sued.

The so­lic­i­tors went on to rep­re­sent Jane in her fight for com­pen­sa­tion.

Jonathan Reid, of Rus­sell Jones and Walker, said: “The set­tle­ment fi­nally draws to a close what has un­doubt­edly been a dev­as­tat­ing time for Bas’ fam­ily.

“We work with many fam­i­lies whose loved ones have been killed or se­ri­ously in­jured and many find the prospect of re­liv­ing the tragedy in court al­most too much to bear.

“When a fam­ily feels like this, we al­ways try our best to keep cases out of the courts, while also en­sur­ing those left be­hind re­ceive a full and re­al­is­tic set­tle­ment.

“Of course, no amount of money will ever bring Bas back, or go any way to fill­ing the void that he has left, but hope­fully it will pro­vide his fam­ily with some fi­nan­cial se­cu­rity for the fu­ture.”

tragic: Basil Clarke who was killed while cy­cling on the A1.

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