Road rage incident results in death of cyclist; driver pleads guilty

A 37-year-old Lochiel man has been convicted of a road rage incident that resulted in the death of a 72-year-old cyclist.

Nathan John Cumming pleaded guilty in Bega Local Court on Tuesday, December 18, to one count of grievous bodily harm by unlawful act. The court heard he stopped his 2003 Nissan Patrol utility on Mount Darragh Rd in Lochiel at 10.50am on June 26 this year to confront cyclist David Brand.

Court documents reveal Cumming was travelling at 100kmh through a series of bends when he passed within one metre of Mr Brand, who was travelling around 40kmh as two other vehicles approached from the opposite direction.

Cumming failed to slow as the vehicles approached to allow Mr Brand the legally allowed 1.5 metres of space while overtaking on a stretch of road with a speed limit above 60kmh.

Documents state claims Cumming looked in his rear vision mirror to see Mr Brand raising the middle finger of his right hand, before he pulled his vehicle over to the side of the road with the intention of confronting the cyclist.

Cumming said he walked to the middle of the road in an attempt to stop Mr Brand, and when he attempted to step out of the way at the last second, both moved in the same direction and collided with each other, knocking both to the road.

Mr Brand’s helmet “impacted heavily with the road surface causing him to lose consciousness”, the documents reveal.

Mr Brand sustained severe injuries from the collision, including a fracture to his left skull, traumatic brain injuries including multiple haemorrhages as well as multiple rib fractures.

Emergency services arrived soon after the collision and Mr Brand was flown to Canberra Hospital.

However, Mr Brand did not regain consciousness and died eight days later on July 3 from his injuries.

During his initial police interview Cumming admitted to passing too close to Mr Brand and walking onto the roadway to stop him.

Magistrate David O’Connor adjourned the matter to February 7 next year for sentencing.