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Pregnant death crash driver may face retrial

Charlie Willbourne, in front, arrives at court
Charlie Willbourne, in front, arrives at court

A heavily-pregnant woman accused of causing the death of a cyclist when she was blinded in her car by the sun may face a retrial.

A jury at Maidstone Crown Court was unable to reach a verdict today Monday on whether or not Charlie Willbourne, 21, of Hever Avenue, West Kingsdown, was driving carelessly when she collided with 58-year-old Peter Stubbs.

Father-of-two Mr Stubbs was cycling up the A20 London Road in Wrotham Hill when his bike was struck from behind by Willbourne's Hyundai i20 on May 4 last year.

Willbourne denied causing death by careless driving and the jury of six men and six women were discharged by Judge Charles Macdonald QC.

The case will be relisted on June 20 when the prosecution will decide whether there will be a retrial.

It was alleged that Willbourne's driving fell below the standard of a careful and competent motorist when dealing with the hazard of the low evening sun.

But Willbourne maintained during her evidence that her car windscreen changed suddenly and "went white" from the sun's glare at the moment she fatally collided with Mr Stubbs.

Mr Stubbs was described in court as an experienced cyclist and was wearing a high visibility vest. He was on his way home to St Mary's Way, Longfield, at the time of the accident.

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