Driver in court over tandem deaths

A picture left at the scene in Hanham, near Bristol, in tribute to Ross and Clare Simons

A picture left at the scene in Hanham, near Bristol, in tribute to Ross and Clare Simons

First published in National News © by

A motorist is due to appear in court charged with killing a husband and wife who died when they were knocked off their tandem bicycle.

Nicky Lovell, 38, will appear before North Avon Magistrates' Court in Yate, South Gloucestershire, accused of two counts of causing death by dangerous driving.

Lovell, of Oldland Common, South Gloucestershire, has also been charged with driving while disqualified; driving without third party insurance and driving a vehicle and failing to stop after a road accident. Cyclists Ross and Clare Simons died in a crash on Sunday in Hanham, near Bristol.

Allie Longhorn, senior crown prosecutor for the Crown Prosecution Service, said: "I have authorised Avon and Somerset Police to charge Nicky Lovell with two counts of causing death by dangerous driving. I have also authorised charges of driving while disqualified; driving without third party insurance; and driving a vehicle and failing to stop after a road accident. Our thoughts are today with the victims' families."

Lovell was arrested after handing himself into police hours after the collision involving Mr and Mrs Simons on Lower Hanham Road.

The young couple died less than 24 hours after they celebrated the news that they could undergo fertility treatment to start a family. Mr Simons, 34, and his 30-year-old wife - described by friends as "two peas in a pod" - died when their bicycle was in collision with a Citroen Picasso car.

Their families described them as "very special" and said they had "no words" to describe their loss.

The car was allegedly speeding moments before the incident and Avon and Somerset officers indicated for it to pull over, but were forced to follow it after it sped off. Moments later the car struck another vehicle before colliding with Mr and Mrs Simons' tandem.

"Both of our families are completely devastated by the tragic events that took Ross and Clare from us," the couple's families said in a statement. "A very special couple have been taken from us and we have no words to describe our loss. We would all appreciate it if our privacy was respected at this difficult time in order for us to grieve as a family."

Avon and Somerset Police has referred the matter to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

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