GUILTY: Man who caused the death of two pedestrians had been driving at an inappropriate speed, jury told.
PUBLISHED: 12:25 22 January 2013 | UPDATED: 12:26 22 January 2013
A TEENAGE motorist who mowed down and killed two young men in March in the early hours of a December morning had been driving at an inappropriate speed as he approached the scene, a jury was told.
Bill Bishop, 19, who was found guilty of causing death by careless driving, had also been seen driving carelessly in the town before the accident.
Bishop, of Station Road, Manea, was remanded in custody when convicted after a four day trial. He is due to be sentenced at Peterborough Crown Court on Thursday.
Pedestrians Dominic James Iliffe, 24, of Boadicea Court, Chatteris, and James Kiely, 27, of Drew Road, Silverton, London, died instantly as a result of injuries sustained in the collision, which happened in Wimblington Road, March, at about 3.25am on Sunday December 11, 2011.
During a four-day trial, the court heard how Bishop’s Vauxhall Astra struck the two men who were walking in the carriageway towards the A141. There were no witnesses to the collision, but at the trial, expert witness PC Tim Kirkby concluded that Bishop’s speed was inappropriate as he drove towards the scene.
A number of witnesses gave evidence of Bishop’s careless driving in March earlier that evening.
Both men who died had been drinking in March, and were three times over the legal limit for driving. They had been out with Dominic’s close friends, twins Alex and Will Salter, and were heading into Wimblington to stay overnight with the Salter family.
Following their deaths a group of Dominic’s friends - including Alex and Will - organised a memorial party which raised £750. The money was given to Abigail Iliffe - Dominic’s sister and James’ girlfriend - for her baby.
The Sportsman hosted the event free of charge and Peter Todd’s Karaoke Disco kept guests entertained.
Businesses donated raffle prizes, which included a £25 gift voucher for Abracadabra fancy dress shop in March and two buckets of flowers from the Skylark Garden Centre.
Wimblington Road, March, has a 60mph limit for about half a mile from Mill Hill roundabout before it drops to 40mph, and later 30mph, upon entering March.
Retired teacher Chris Hill, who lives close to where Dominic and James were killed, has been campaigning for improvements for several years. Pedestrians, schoolchildren and runners often use the road, which has narrow pavement on one side.
In March 2010, 20-year-old cyclist Kristopher Dellaway, from Doddington, died after a collision with a car on the same stretch.
Mr Hill said: “There is a combination of factors that make it an inherently dangerous road and accidents have been happening for so long.
“It’s crying out to be a 40mph limit all the way through. What’s that going to cost? Two signs at the roundabout.”
Last month, on the anniversary of James and Dominic’s deaths, Mr Hill wrote to this newspaper furious that greater priority has been given to the provision of a footpath in Elwyn Road, March.
He said: “This is the only stretch of a path which extends to the south of Doddington where pedestrians are forced to walk so close to such fast-moving traffic.
“Those three fatalities make this the most dangerous place to walk or cycle in the vicinity of March.
“How can this fact alone not persuade our council to reduce the potential danger by reducing the speed-limit?”