£200k for widow of dead cyclist
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.