Frances Davies died when she was hit from behind by a van driven by Sebastian Higgins on the A133 near Weeley. Pictures of the van show a smashed nearside half of the windscreen as well as a crumpled bonnet and impact damage to the bumper just to the nearside of the front centre. The company logo on the rear side panel appears to be that of M. J. Quinn.
Higgins was originally charged with causing death by dangerous driving, but this is not mentioned in later reports and it appears that this charge was not pursued following Higgins pleading guilty to causing death by careless driving.
When Higgins appeared for sentencing in May 2017, Chelmsford Crown Court heard that Davies was wearing high visibility clothing and that her bicycle had working lights, and that Higgins was not using his phone at the time of the collision. Neither were intoxicated. Davies was said to be “utterly blameless”; Higgins simply failed to see Davies ahead of him.
Judge Jonathan Seeley awarded Higgins a 24 week sentence suspended for two years, with 300 hours’ unpaid work, and £1,500 costs. He applied the minimum 12 month driving ban but required Higgins to take an extended re-test before driving again.