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Sunday, 01 March 2015

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Carlisle coach driver denies causing deaths of cyclist brothers

A coach driver has appeared at Carlisle Crown Court accused of causing the deaths of two brothers while they were cycling in west Cumbria.

Keen cyclists Nicholas Townend, who was 21, and Christian, 29, were on their way home from a bike ride to Silloth when they were in collision with a coach being driven by 43-year-old Robert Andrew Wightman on the A595 at Moota on December 5 in 2010. 

Wightman, of Creighton Avenue, Carlisle, pleaded not guilty to causing their deaths by dangerous driving.

He was remanded on bail and will go on trial on June 18.

Wightman was driving the coach – from Carlisle firm Stacey’s – towards Cockermouth when the tragedy occurred.

The brothers were cycling in the same direction.

The busy A595 – the main link from Carlisle to west Cumbria – was closed for six hours while emergency services cleared the scene and west Cumbria roads traffic police along with the force’s collision investigation unit launched an investigation into the cause of the crash.

The brothers were former pupils of Cockermouth School.

Christian, of High Brigham, worked as a scientific officer for United Utilities at Carlisle’s Wastewater Treatment Works.

Nicholas, of Moorland Place, Cockermouth, worked at the Kirkstile Inn, Loweswater, and was planning a career in journalism.

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