Woman, 49, convicted of manslaughter after raising her hand at elderly cyclist before collision


The 49-year-old Moment pedestrian woman cursed at a 77-year-old cyclist on the sidewalk who later swerved onto the road and was struck and killed by a car, as she faces jail time for manslaughter.

  • Auriol Grey, 49, raises his hand to cyclist Celia Ward, 77, in Huntingdon, Cambs.
  • The retired midwife, Mrs. Ward, fell to the road and was killed in a car accident.

A woman who raised her hand to an elderly cyclist on the sidewalk moments before a fatal crash has been found guilty of manslaughter.

Auriol Grey, 49, angrily punched Celia Ward, 77, and told her to “get off the bloody pavement”, Peterborough Crown Court heard.

Within seconds, the retired midwife, Mrs. Ward, veered onto the road and into the path of a car that failed to stop.

She was pronounced dead at the scene of the collision in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire.

Prosecutor Simon Spence KC said the two women were crossing paths when Gray “gesticulated in a hostile and aggressive manner” towards Ms Ward in October 2020.

Celia Ward, 77, (pictured with her husband David) was killed in the collision in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, after Auriol Gray, 49, raised his hand and cursed as he passed her on the pavement.

Footage showed Ms Ward lost her balance and fell onto the road, where she was struck by a car.

Footage showed Ms Ward lost her balance and fell onto the road, where she was struck by a car.

CCTV footage showed Grey, who has cerebral palsy, raising his hand as Ms Ward lost her balance and landed on the road.

When emergency services rushed to the scene, Gray fled on foot and went to the nearby Sainsbury’s to buy groceries.

After officers brought her in for questioning, Gray explained that she had vision problems and was feeling “anxious” because the bike was traveling “quickly” in the middle of the pavement. She added that she may have “unintentionally” raised her hand.

The Highways Act of 1835 makes it illegal to cycle on the pavement, with a fine of up to £500. In this case, however, officers were unable to determine if the pavement was a shared bike lane.

Gray will be sentenced later today.

Detective Sergeant Mark Dollard said: “This was a difficult and tragic case. Everyone will have their own views on cyclists, sidewalks and bike lanes, but what is clear is that Auriol Grey’s response to Celia’s presence on a pedal bike was totally disproportionate and ultimately found to be illegal. , resulting in Celia’s untimely and unnecessary death.

“I am pleased with the verdict and hope it is a stark reminder to all road users to take care and be considerate of one another. I want to take the time to acknowledge Celia’s family and thank them for her patience and dignity throughout the entire investigation and trial.

It is estimated that two cyclists die on average each week in traffic accidents, while another 84 are seriously injured. Most of the incidents occur on rural roads and about half when a car collides with a bicycle.

The number of cyclists killed in road accidents reached a 14-year high in 2020 when 140 fatalities were recorded, the highest number since 2006. The average person reportedly cycles 88 miles each year, while 47 percent of adults owned or had access to a bicycle

A parliamentary study published in 2021 found that fatal cyclist collisions caused by pedestrians were extremely rare, with only five such incidents in 2019. Among pedestrians killed in traffic accidents between 2005 and 2018, only six were killed by a cyclist while 548 lost their lives. to vehicles.