A CYCLIST from Beaconsfield died after being hit from behind by a transit van on a three-lane section of the A40, a court heard.

Group Captain Tom Barrett, 44, who was station commander at RAF Northolt, had just begun cycling home from the base in heavy traffic when the accident happened.

Van driver Paul Luker, 51, appeared at Harrow Crown Court yesterday charged with causing death by careless or inconsiderate driving, which he denies.

Luker, of Beaconsfield Road, Farnham Royal, told police interviewers he had been dazzled by sunlight and did not see the cyclist, the jury was told.

Group Captain Barrett, of Amersham Road, Beaconsfield, was cycling in the inside lane of the westbound carriageway of the A40 Western Avenue, before the Hillingdon turn-off.

Prosecutor Adina Ezekiel said there is no suggestion Luker was speeding. She said he was travelling at about 50mph, along with the rest of the traffic.

She said: “It’s a tragic event and Mr Luker in his interview was also upset by it. The prosecution say it was inconsiderate and he should have adapted his driving style if the conditions made it difficult to see.

“Put simply Group Captain Barrett was there to be seen and Mr Luker should have seen him...There was a person there, he should have avoided him, he didn’t he hit him and that caused the death of Mr Barrett.”

The incident happened in dry, bright conditions, just after 5pm on March 10 last year, the court heard.

Witnesses said Luker stopped after the crash and ran back to where the cyclist was lying, before emergency services arrived.

Group Captain Barrett, a dad-of-two, used his journey home as training to compete in triathlons, the court heard.

He was wearing dark cycling clothes and a helmet, but suffered severe head injuries after being ‘thrown’ forward after the impact, the court heard.

The trial continues.