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Saturday, 20 December 2014

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Cyclist killed after collision with lorry in Carlisle is named by police

An elderly cyclist killed in a crash on a busy Carlisle road yesterday morning has been named by police.

Brampton Road crash scene photo
The crash scene

Colin Rae, 83, of Whiteclosegate, died after his pedal bike collided with a lorry outside the University of Cumbria campus on Brampton Road, not far from his home.

The driver of the blue lorry, a 61-year-old man from Carlisle, was last night arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and failing to stop after an accident. He has been bailed by police pending further inquiries.

Mr Rae was the chairman of the Cumbrian Society of Organists and the former head of maths at Trinity School in Carlisle.

Jeremy Suter, vice chairman of the society and master of music at Carlisle Cathedral, today paid tribute to an “irreplaceable friend”.

Mr Suter, who knew and worked with Mr Rae for 20 years, said the society has been devastated by news of his death.

He said: “Colin had a dry sense of humour which would raise more than a few laughs at Cumbrian Society of Organists AGMs.

“He was a talented organist but very humble about his own ability.”

Mr Rae played the organ at St Aidan’s Church in Carlisle and would perform at Carlisle and District Music Festival.

Mr Suter added: “He was fiercely independent. Despite having two hip replacements, he always tried to make his own way around on his bike as did not have a car.

“The fact that he was killed on his bike is a real measure of his independence.”

Mr Suter added: “Colin once cycled all the way from Carlisle to a society meeting in Barrow. He was a fantastic character and will be sorely missed by all his friends.”

One of his former Trinity School colleagues Helen Horne today paid tribute to him.

She said: “I worked with Colin for about four years and he was very academic. He spent a lot of time working with computers when they were in their infancy.

“He was old fashioned – a real boffin.”

The collision happened at around 10.30am yesterday morning.

Police confirmed that the accident happened near to a pedestrian crossing, a short distance from the junction with Well Lane.

Further along Brampton Road, within sight of the accident scene, workmen were operating within a coned off area as they trimmed roadside trees.

Officers launched an appeal for information to help them trace the driver of the lorry who did not stop after the accident.

Hours later he was arrested in the Brampton area and the lorry seized from Willowholme. The driver, whose identity has not been revealed, has been interviewed by officers and placed on police bail until December 12 pending further inquiries.

The tragedy, which happened close to the main University of Cumbria entrance, caused lengthy tailbacks after a section of the road between the junctions with Well Lane and Longlands Road was closed.

Brampton Road was sealed off for several hours yesterday as accident investigators worked at the scene. A spokeswoman for the University of Cumbria said they were not aware of anyone from the campus having any involvement with the accident.

She declined to comment further saying the accident “was a matter for police”.

The coroner has been informed.

Witnesses should contact Cumbria police on 0845 3300247.

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