P-plater Nicholas Parker who killed two cyclists escapes conviction over Richmond crash thumbnail

P-plater Nicholas Parker who killed two cyclists escapes conviction over Richmond crash

A P-plate driver who fell asleep at the wheel, killing two cyclists in Sydney’s northwest in 2019, has escaped conviction for dangerous driving causing death.

Nicholas Parker was driving for less than 10 minutes in Richmond on his way to his apprenticeship when the crash occurred.

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He swerved onto the wrong side of the road before colliding head-on with cyclists Geoff Havill and Chris Culver who were out for an early morning bike ride.

“This is a truly tragic case,” Judge Deborah Payne told the court on Wednesday.

“(But) I must not let sympathy or emotion sway my verdict.”

Geoff Havill died at the scene.
Geoff Havill died at the scene. Credit: 7NEWS
Chris Culver was rushed to hospital but later died.
Chris Culver was rushed to hospital but later died. Credit: 7NEWS

The court heard Parker had slept only six hours before getting behind the wheel.

“I fell asleep!” he told witnesses at the scene, the court heard.

“Did I hit another car?”

Havill died at the scene while Culver was rushed to hospital but didn’t survive.

The scene of the crash at Richmond.
The scene of the crash at Richmond. Credit: 7NEWS
Nicholas Parker.
Nicholas Parker. Credit: 7NEWS

The judge accepted Parker’s evidence that he “was asleep at the time of the collision”.

Parker was found not guilty of dangerous driving causing death.

But he could still face jail on a separate charge of negligent driving if he is found guilty.

At the conclusion of the trial, Parker pleaded guilty to crossing onto the wrong side of the road.

He faces court again next month.