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Crash cyclist's widow in damages claim

PUBLISHED: 09:50 11 August 2008 | UPDATED: 10:36 12 July 2010

The widow of a champion cyclist has launched a £300,000 claim against the Norwich publican who killed him when he fell asleep at the wheel of his car.

Zak Carr, 30, was cycling along the A11 in October 2005 when he was knocked off his bike by a Rover 220i driven by Donald Pearce.

THE widow of a champion cyclist has launched a £300,000 claim against the Norwich publican who killed him when he fell asleep at the wheel of his car.

Zak Carr, 30, was cycling along the A11 in October 2005 when he was knocked off his bike by a Rover driven by Donald Pearce.

In January 2007 Mr Pearce, then landlord of the Farmhouse pub in Colman Road, was jailed for five years after being found guilty of death by dangerous driving.

Now the cyclist's widow, Beverley Carr, 31, has submitted a claim for damages exceeding £300,000.

The writ, lodged with the Queen's Bench Division of the High Court, is on behalf of the estate of Mr Carr for damages for personal injury and death.

Mrs Carr, of Shropham, is also claiming for her own personal and psychological injury.

The writ outlines how Mrs Carr rang her husband's phone on the morning he was knocked off his bicycle, only for it to be answered by a nurse in A&E at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital who told her to get to hospital as fast as she could.

When she arrived with her husband's parents they were told the situation was "very grave" and then that he was going to die.

The writ says: "They were taken to see the deceased, who had clearly suffered broken bones and severe injuries. He was on a ventilator.

"The claimant was then told that the life support must be removed and was present when this happened and when the deceased died."

It goes on to say that Mrs Carr suffered a depressive episode and post traumatic stress disorder with some treatment still ongoing.

The court case heard that Mr Pearce, 49 at the time of the hearing, was on his way home from Stansted Airport from a holiday in Turkey and had only slept for about two-and-a-half hours in the previous 24.

His car veered into Mr Carr about half a mile before the Ketteringham crossroads. He denied causing the death of Mr Carr by dangerous driving and was convicted by a jury.

He was also banned from driving for seven years.

Following the tragedy, Mrs Carr paid tribute to her husband, saying: "He was the most special person in the world. He was competitive within his sport but he was also the most giving person you could meet. He would do anything for anybody."

She and her husband started racing together and held the national record for the mixed 50-mile tandem race.

He was one of the country's top time trialists and held the fastest times for tandem rides over 10, 25, 30, 50 and 100 miles, achieved with fellow cyclist Glenn Taylor.

He had begun racing for Great Britain as a pilot for disabled athletes and was hoping to be involved in the Beijing Paralympics.


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