Driver remanded over tandem cyclists deaths

 

A motorist has appeared in court accused of killing a couple who were knocked off their tandem bike in an alleged hit-and-run.

Nicholas Lovell, 38, was remanded in custody at North Avon Magistrates' Court in Yate, south Gloucestershire, charged with two counts of causing death by dangerous driving.

Lovell, of West Street in Oldland Common, south Gloucestershire, is also charged with driving while disqualified, driving without insurance and failing to stop after a road accident.

Husband and wife Ross and Clare Simons died in a crash while cycling on Sunday evening in Hanham, near Bristol.

Lovell spoke only to confirm his name and date of birth.

He is due to appear over videolink at Bristol Crown Court for a preliminary hearing on February 21.

Bespectacled Lovell, wearing a navy blue T-shirt, was accompanied by one female dock officer during the five-minute hearing.

He did not react as the clerk read out the charges against him, which are alleged to have taken place on January 27.

Kathryn Jones, prosecuting, told the court: "The incident on the 27th resulted unfortunately in the fatalities of the two individuals that have been named.

"There is no bail application. The crown seeks remand in custody."

No further details of the prosecution case against Lovell were given in court.

Chairwoman of the bench Catherine Gunnery told Lovell: "You have heard what has been said. You are going to go to the Crown Court for a preliminary hearing on 21st February. You are remanded in custody until that date."

The couple died less than 24 hours after they celebrated the news that they could undergo fertility treatment to start a family.

Mr Simons, 34, and his 30-year-old wife - described by friends as "two peas in a pod" - died when their bicycle was in collision with a Citroen Picasso car.

Their families described them as "very special" and said they had "no words" to describe their loss.

Dozens of floral tributes have been left at the scene of the crash in memory of Mr and Mrs Simons.

Avon and Somerset Police have referred the matter to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

A 35-year-old woman arrested in connection with the collision remains on police bail.

PA