A FORMER shopkeeper who knocked over and killed a cyclist has been cleared of causing death by dangerous driving.

Viral Parekh, who admitted causing the death of Eastleigh rider Keiran Dix, was found not guilty of the charge by a jury at Southampton Crown Court yesterday.

The 23 year old was in the dock after Mr Dix collided with Parekh’s Vauxhall Zafira as he cycled along Beaulieu Road at around midday on December 2, 2016.

Following the collision, Mr Dix went into a coma and died on February 7.

The Crown Prosecution Service believed that because Parekh drove across the junction, that sees Beaulieu Road and Dibden Bottom in the New Forest meet, without reducing his speed despite seeing numerous ‘Give Way’ signs along the road, his driving was dangerous.

However, a jury disagreed – returning a unanimous not guilty verdict following the three day trial.

In his closing speech, Richard Onslow, Parekh’s defence barrister, told the court Parekh had “made a mistake but simply has always said he did not see Mr Dix.”

He said: “This case has understandably bought about sympathies to all the family and friends of Mr Dix and it is a tragedy...Parekh’s mistake was human error.

“None of us are perfect drivers.”

Mr Onslow added: "The Highway Code says that cyclist must wear brightly colour clothing but regrettably on this day Mr Dix was wearing black clothing."

The court heard that since 2007, the junction where the collision occurred has seen 22 incidents take place - including two fatalities.

Prosecutor Richard Tutt told the court that Parekh had not adhered to the ‘Give Way’ sign at the junction of the road and had not decreased in speed as he approached it.

He also said that Parekh, who used to run a Premier Convenience in Hythe, had only passed his test less than three months before the incident.

During his cross examination, Parekh told the court that moments before the crash he had “checked both sides and straight ahead” as he approached the crossroads.

Parekh, of Deacon Road, Southampton, will appear at Southampton Crown Court on Thursday, December 21 to be sentenced for causing death by careless driving.