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By Haddenham Webteam - 12th November 2021 5:15pm
Following a Thames Valley Police investigation, a man has today (12th November) been sentenced after he was convicted of two counts of causing death by careless driving in Studley Green, near High Wycombe.
Clifford Rennie, aged 61, of Wantage Road in Wallingford, pleaded guilty to both offences in a hearing at High Wycombe Magistrates' Court on 14 October.
Appearing at Oxford Crown Court today (12/11), Rennie was sentenced to two years' imprisonment, suspended for two years. He was also disqualified from driving for five years and will be required to take an extended re-test when this disqualification concludes.
At just before 6.40pm on 1 June last year, two cyclists, Andy Coles, who was 56, and Damien Natale, who was 52, were cycling on the A40 in Studley Green.
Rennie, who was driving a Volkswagen Golf and travelling in the same direction, collided with Mr Natale and Mr Coles from behind.
The injuries sustained by Mr Natale and Mr Coles proved fatal, despite the best efforts of medical professionals.
Rennie was charged with the offences via a postal requisition on 15 July this year.
Senior Investigating Officer Sergeant Darren Brown of the Serious Collision Investigation Unit, based at Three Mile Cross, said: "This was an absolute tragedy that needn't have happened.
"Due to the manner of Mr Rennie's driving on that early summer's afternoon last year, two men, who were simply out for a cycle ride, did not return home to their loved ones.
"We were able to prove that the careless nature of Mr Rennie's driving was the causative factor in the deaths of Andy and Damien, and given the evidence put to him, Mr Rennie pleaded guilty to both offences. This, at least, spared the family and friends of Andy and Damien the further ordeal of a trial.
"Whatever the reason for Mr Rennie's careless driving that evening, it is abundantly clear that neither Andy nor Damien contributed in any way to this incident.
"This tragic case underlines the fact that motorists need to be fully aware of their surroundings and be aware of other, more vulnerable road users, especially when driving within national speed limits.
"I know that no sentence would have served as any solace to Andy and Damien's family and friends, but I would like to pay tribute to them all. They have showed tremendous resolve and patience while this case was being investigated, and on behalf of Thames Valley Police, I would like to extend my condolences to everyone affected by this tragedy."
Thames Valley Police
12th November 2021
Image: Thames Valley Incident Alert