Whitstable: 18 year Old Admits Causing Fatal Crash

21 November 2014, 15:34 | Updated: 21 November 2014, 15:35

A drink-driving 18-year-old woman has pleaded guilty to causing the death of a cyclist as he took part in a charity bike ride.

Bethany Mackie drove into Christian Smith from behind and failed to pull over until more than 400 yards up the road, police said.

Mr Smith, 38, was struck as he tried to complete the last leg of a 248-mile ride across Kent and Sussex within 24 hours in aid of the mental health charity Mind.

The father of three, from Boughton Aluph, Kent, died when his bicycle was hit by Mackie's blue Peugeot 206 car on the A2990, near Chestfield, on March 22 - just two hours from the finish.

More than £82,000 has been raised on Mr Smith's JustGiving webpage since the fatal crash - eclipsing his £1,000 target figure.

Mackie, who was more than twice the legal drink-drive limit at the time, admitted causing death by dangerous driving and driving with excess alcohol at Canterbury Crown Court today, Kent Police said.

Inspector Martin Stevens, of the Kent Police roads policing unit, said afterwards: "Christian Smith was a keen cyclist and was raising money for a cause close to his heart.

"His death, caused by this tragic and avoidable incident, is another reminder to everyone of the dangers of drink-driving.

"Mackie will have to live with the consequences of her actions for the rest of her life. Our thoughts are with all those involved in this case, but of course especially Christian's grieving family, at this time.''

He added: "The message about the dangers of drink-driving is getting through to motorists but there is still a minority who ignore the warnings. Unfortunately in cases such as this, it is an innocent person whose life is lost.

"Mackie's breath contained 73 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, more than twice the limit.

"Our message is that any amount of alcohol affects your ability to drive, so the only safe option is not to drink alcohol if you plan to drive.''

Mackie, of Beltinge Road, Herne Bay, will be sentenced on December 19. She has been handed an interim driving ban and freed on bail.