‘Careless driving’ plea accepted for crash that killed Commonwealth Games medallist David McCall

Posted on: December 13th, 2011

Northern Ireland’s David McCall

Northern Ireland’s David McCall continued racing until his death aged just 46 years


A Liverpool businessman has admitted causing the death in a road traffic collision of the well known and popular international cyclist David McCall.

The Maryland Wheelers rider was killed during a club race in August 2008.

A car overtook a group of riders and knocked the 46-year-old off his bike and into the air, killing him almost instantly.

The father of two, who worked as a civil servant and also co-ran the SportActive cycle and activity holiday company, had represented Northern Ireland at three Commonwealth Games and had medalled in one.

Michael Croome (28), with addresses at Cliftonville Road, Belfast, and Priory Warf, Chester, today (Tuesday) pleaded guilty to causing Mr McCall’s death through careless driving.

He had been charged with the more serious offence of death by dangerous driving but a guilty plea to the lesser charge was accepted at Antrim Crown Court.

Croome will be sentenced next month, at which point stickybottle will be in a position to outline more about him.

The convicted man was described in court as a businessman with a number of retail outlets in England, Scotland and Wales

Mr McCall was fatally injured as he raced on the Belfast Road at Nutts Corner on August 12th, 2008. He was hit by a car driven by Croome, who was rushing on his way to catch a flight from Belfast International Airport.

Croome did not immediately stop at the scene and instead drove on for a short distance. However, he then returned to where his car had hit Mr McCall.

On Monday, the prosecution in Croome’s case said that Mr McCall had swerved to avoid a dog before the accident happened and that the defendant had been driving too fast and too close to the cyclists.

Following his retirement from international racing, Mr McCall served as an executive of Cycling Ulster.

The father-of-two qualified as a level three coach and commissaire, and was the driving force behind the motorcycle marshal training scheme.

He was also involved with the Braveheart Fund, which raises funds to help young riders. A member of the Maryland Wheelers club in Lisburn, after his death the club established a charitable foundation in his name to support cycling in Ulster; the David McCall Foundation.

In 2009 and 2010 – it’s first two years in operation – it raised almost £20,000 to help Ulster cyclists, from youth to elite level, and also to support a number of races and sportives.