A 19-year-old man from West Meon will be sentenced next month after admitting causing death by careless driving following a crash on the Corhampton to Bishop’s Waltham road in which two motorcyclists were killed.
But driver Joshua Kempster was cleared yesterday at Portsmouth Crown Court of the more serious charge of causing death by dangerous driving. He had previously admitted the careless driving charges.
Engineer Andrew Cuthbert, 58, (left) of Chase Farm Close, Waltham Chase, and Gary Groves, 62, of Kinsbourne Close, Southampton, died following a collision on the B3035 in February 2020.
Over the course of the four-day trial Kempster denied driving his Ford Fiesta Zetec ‘dangerously’ by overtaking on a blind bend before swerving back into a Kia causing both vehicles to spin.
The court heard Mr Cuthbert and Mr Groves had no chance to avoid the crash and the Kia exploded in a fireball engulfing one rider while the other motorcyclist was thrown into a fence. Both men suffered catastrophic head, chest, pelvis and lower limbs injuries and died at the scene.
Kempster, from West Meon, who had denied two counts of causing death by dangerous driving, will be sentenced next month.
Paying tribute last year Andrew’s son and daughter said: “Our Dad absolutely lived for me and my sister and he was the best pop to his grandchildren who he adored more than anything.
“He never held a grudge and always made sure his family and friends came first. He loved playing football and music but his true passion was his motorbikes. The hole he leaves won’t ever be filled, we just want to take everything he taught us to make sure we do him proud. He will be sadly missed by all his family and friends.”
Gary’s family paid this tribute to him: “We just cannot believe we would ever be writing this. On Sunday 2 February our lives were torn to pieces with the horrific news we were to receive. “As many of you now are already aware the most loving, caring, funny, honest love of our lives was cruelly taken that evening.
“Gary was the most loving husband, dad, grandad, brother, uncle, work colleague and treasured friend to many. He touched the hearts of so many people, the room would light up wherever he went. He absolutely adored his four grandchildren, they were his world and he was their absolute rock.
“Gary’s passion for his bikes was immense, with his brother Mike and his family of bike friends, who he loved very much and spent many hours riding out – which they all loved. Gary will forever be with us and in our hearts. As a family, each and every one of us will continue to do him proud. Heaven has gained the biggest angel but we have lost ours, but know he will be looking over us forever. “Ride in peace, We love you xxxxx”
More coverage of the trial, which was covered in depth by The News, Portsmouth, is available here: