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Man charged over cyclists' deaths

A man has been charged in connection with the deaths of two cyclists killed in a crash with a lorry near the start of a charity ride.

Andrew McMenigall, 47, and Toby Wallace, 36, were cycling from Land's End to John O'Groats when they died in the crash on the A30 in Newquay, Cornwall, in July 2013.

The pair, who worked for Aberdeen Asset Management (AAM), were 40 miles into the 960-mile bike ride to raise money for two charities.

They died in the crash with a white Renault lorry at about 8.30am on July 2.

Devon and Cornwall Police arrested the driver of the lorry on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving. He was later released on bail.

Today the force announced Robert Wayne Palmer, 32, from Bude, had been charged with two counts of causing death by dangerous driving.

Palmer has also been charged with a further count of dangerous driving in relation to another crash on September 21 2013, on the A30 near Okehampton.

He has been released on bail to appear at Bodmin Magistrates Court on June 3 a police spokesman said.

Mr McMenigall, from Edinburgh, was married with two daughters and was a keen triathlete. He had previously served as an officer in the Army before joining AAM.

Mr Wallace was from Philadelphia in the United States where he worked for AAM. He was part of an eight-man team who rowed across the Atlantic last year to raise money for charity.

Their bike ride was to raise money for the Kirsten Scott Memorial Trust, named after a 25-year-old colleague who died from cancer in 2011.

Mr McMenigall was also raising money for It's Good 2 Give, an Edinburgh-based charity that offers support to people with cancer and their families.

One of his daughters had been diagnosed with and recovered from a brain tumour.

In a statement, the families of Mr McMenigall and Mr Wallace thanked members of the public who donated to the charities following the deaths.

"Members of the public were there when the accident happened and did everything they could to help," they said. "The emergency services were on the scene within minutes and did a valiant job.

"It must have been tremendously upsetting for the witnesses and the emergency services, and we want to thank them for everything they did.

"We have been touched by the generosity of people from around the world; people who had never met Andrew or Toby but have been making donations in their memory. Their kindness has been truly overwhelming.

"We'd also like to thank the Pro-Am players from the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open who donated their prize money, and the European Tour who matched the funds."

The pair were hoping to raise £10,000 for the two charities. Donations have now reached more than £50,000.

Speaking after the deaths, AAM chief executive Martin Gilbert paid tribute to the men as "dedicated and popular members of our senior team".

"The fact that they died in such tragic circumstances while trying to help others less fortunate tells you much about their selflessness and humanity," Mr Gilbert said.

"This is a terrible time for the company. More importantly our thoughts are with the families of Andrew and Toby. We will be doing everything we can to support them."

Contextual targeting label: 
Transport Tragedy

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