Alleged drug driver accused of killing cyclist faces court
AN alleged drug driver charged over a fatal cyclist crash that took place in Bucca earlier this year has had his first court appearance.
David James Hills, aged 63, appeared in Coffs Harbour Local Court yesterday over allegations his dangerous and negligent driving led to the death of Emerald Beach handyman Philip Almond in April this year.
He also stands accused of causing grievous bodily harm to fellow cyclist and Sawtell business owner Duncan Elliot.
Police allege that the two men had been cycling in a group along Central Bucca Rd on the morning of April 15 when they were reportedly struck by Mr Hills' ute, which was turning into a driveway.
The men, both aged 47, were treated on scene for multiple injuries before Mr Almond was taken to Gold Coast University Hospital in a critical condition, and Mr Elliot to John Hunter Hospital in a serious but stable condition.
Mr Almond, a well-known local who had received accolades for his cycling ability, tragically succumbed to his injuries a few days later.
Following investigations, police charged Mr Hills with a range of driving offences on August 12.
These included dangerous driving occasioning death, negligent driving occasioning death, dangerous driving occasioning grievous bodily harm, negligent driving occasioning grievous bodily harm, drive vehicle with illicit drug present in blood, and not comply with conditions of his licence.
His licence was also suspended by police on the spot.
Mr Hills appeared before Magistrate Ian Rodgers in court on Monday and his matter will return to the court once again on November 24, when the brief of evidence is due to be served.