Two arrests over cyclist killed while on charity bike ride
Two people have been arrested in connection with the death of a cyclist in a car accident during a 24-hour charity ride.
More than £46,000 in donations have poured in to father-of-three Christian Smith’s JustGiving webpage since he was killed in the crash at about 4am on Saturday.
The fundraiser was attempting to circumnavigate the counties of Kent and Sussex in aid of the mental health charity Mind when he was in collision with a blue Peugeot 206 car on the A2990, near Chestfield, Kent.
Officers said today that they had arrested a 19-year-old man from the Herne Bay area on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving. He has been bailed pending further investigation until July 27.
It comes after an 18-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of drink-driving and causing death by dangerous driving and released on police bail.
Pc Jamie Woodhams, of the Kent Police Serious Collision Investigation Unit, said: “Information has come to light regarding a taxi, which is believed to have passed the scene shortly after the collision travelling from the Chestfield/ Swalecliffe roundabout towards Whitstable.
“I do not believe this driver was involved in the collision but I believe he or she could hold valuable information for us and I’d urge the driver to contact me as soon as possible.”
Mr Smith, from Boughton Aulph in Kent, had set out on Friday to complete his “Kent Epic” of cycling 248 miles (399km) around Kent in 24 hours with the goal of raising £1,000.
A statement from his family said he leaves behind “a loving wife and three children”.
In his last posting on his JustGiving webpage, Mr Smith, who would have celebrated his 39th birthday next week, wrote: “Oh crap what have I done.... 6 days to go. Birthday drinks in Kings Head on 29th March if I am still alive by then.”
Describing his fundraising bid, he wrote: “This is an attempt to cycle the full 24hrs and the full distance, largely unsupported (because nobody is stupid enough to volunteer!). So there are no motorcycle outriders, support vehicles or hot chicks to wipe my brow.
“As much as this being a physical effort, it will also be a mental struggle, enduring a long dark night alone, knackered. Not to mention the long training sessions ahead of me to prepare.”
Explaining his motivation, he added: “In short I want to support the charity Mind, raise awareness towards the great support that they offer, and help bring an end to the stigma that is attached to those who suffer from mental health problems.
“I have had my own misfortune to suffer from a spate of poor mental health, which was unexpected and has been a real ’game changer’ in how I now view the future.
“It has been a tough road to get to this point but I have been fortunate enough to have the support of my family and friends.
“There are those who are not so fortunate to have the same level of support and understanding. They suffer in silence and are alone. This challenge is for those people.”
He also posted: “If I get to £1,000 I will cycle naked around Wye!”
His total has already reached 46 times his goal.
Witnesses or anyone with information who have not yet spoken to police are asked to call Pc Woodhams on 01622 798538.