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Family react to acquittal of driver in fatal cyclist crash case
IT was the fatal road smash that brought Southampton to a standstill.
Yesterday the mini bus driver at the centre of the rush hour crash walked free from court after being cleared of killing cyclist David Irving.
Steven Petterson, claimed bright sunlight causing a glare on the wet road meant he simply did not see rider Mr Irving before hitting him in Mountbatten Way.
A jury found the 38-year-old, Waterhouse Lane, not guilty of causing death by careless driving after an eight-day trial at Southampton Crown Court.
The ten men and two women took nearly eight hours of deliberations to acquit him of killing the father of two from Wimborne, Dorset, who is one of triplets.
One of Mr Irving's sisters sobbed in the public gallery as their verdict was read out.
Outside the court his older brother Nick, 56, said: “David was a healthy and active person.
“He was a loved and dedicated father to two teenage daughters.
“He was a very keen cyclist and was very sporty, competent and fit and is missed by all the family.”
The IT consultant fell from his red Giant bike after he was in collision with the youth worker's white Ford Transit minibus.
It happened on the three-lane dual carriageway on the morning of December 17, 2012.
Moments later he was ran over by a Mercedes and died at the scene from multiple head and body injuries.
Mr Petterson claimed bright sunlight prevented him from seeing the rider -who was wearing a high visibility jacket, an LED anklet and lights on his bike.
Barrister Mark Florida-James, for Mr Petterson, said outside court: “This case is very tragic.
“There are no winners or losers.
“Mr Petterson is very sorry for what has happened and it just shows how hazardous driving is.”
The driver - who was on his way to pick up his step-daughter and take her to school - initially heard a bang after joining the carriageway from Waterhouse Lane.
His wing mirror snap against the side of his vehicle and he immediately pulled into a layby to check for obstacles in the road.
He recalled seeing a flash of red, assumed he hit a bus stop post and called his father, who lives nearby to investigate.
He made a panic-stricken 999 call after realising there had been an accident admitting he had hit someone.
After being arrested he told police he was driving within the speed limit but had been blinded by the low sun, despite wearing prescription sun glasses and having his sun visor down.
Mr Irving, had driven from his home to Totton, before continuing to Southampton city centre by bike.
He suffered a catalogue of injuries including 38 rib fractures, punctured lungs and multiple facial fractures.
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