Cobden driver hits cyclist but dodges conviction

A Cobden nurse who hit a cyclist with her car on the Cobden-Terang Road has avoided a conviction.

Helene McCann, 56, of McCanns Road, pleaded guilty in Warrnambool Magistrates Court to negligently causing serious injury and careless driving.

On January 6 last year Dixie cyclist Barry Wurlod was hit by a car on his regular morning ride at 5.55am.

The court heard yesterday the front of Mrs McCann’s car struck Mr Wurlod, who was thrown from his bike.

Police prosecutor Leading Senior Constable Kevin Mullins said the victim sustained a small brain haemorrhage, a serious injury to his left ear, a cracked vertebrae and a fractured right ankle.

He was treated at the scene and later flown to Melbourne’s The Alfred hospital.

Leading Senior Constable Mullins said Mrs McCann made full admissions when interviewed by police and there was no suggestion that speed or dangerous driving were a factor in the collision. He said the rider had a large reflective strip on his back and two flashing lights.

Magistrate Ann McGarvie, heard via video link from Geelong Magistrates Court that prior to this incident Mrs McCann had not been in a car accident in her 38 years of driving. She had been on her way to work at the Terang Hospital and was familiar with the road but just didn’t see the cyclist.

Her defence counsel said Mrs McCann immediately pulled over and went to help Mr Wurlod and was extremely shocked and remorseful.

Ms McGarvie said she accepted Mr McCann didn’t see the bike rider but it was hard to imagine what more he could have done to be seen.

She said everyone was entitled to make one mistake without receiving a conviction and fined Mrs McCann $1000.