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US sailor faces trial

A US navy officer involved in a collision with Ipswich cyclist Narelle Dobinson is awaiting trial after being charged over her death.

Mrs Dobinson, 60, died on July 31 last year, a week after the bike she was riding and a car collided at an intersection at Willowbank near RAAF Base Amberley.

The navy officer was sent home last August to faces charges after then Attorney-General Robert McClelland issued a certificate stating the alleged offence occurred in the course of official duties. That meant the US had primary right to exercise jurisdiction.

Yesterday, police said the 25-year-old US serviceman had been charged with negligent homicide, alternatively reckless operation of a motor vehicle causing death.

The first charge, relating to a violation of article 134 of the uniform code of military justice carries maximum penalty of three years in jail.

The second carries a maximum penalty of 18 months imprisonment. It relates to a violation of article 111 of the uniform code of military justice.

The serviceman is waiting for trial in a US military court on a date that is still to be set.

Ipswich's Inspector Keith McDonald has been liaising with the US prosecutor, the US Embassy and Australian attorney-general.

Mrs Dobinson's family has also been advised of developments.

The Ipswich police Forensic Crash Unit investigated the incident and its investigation is expected to form the major part of the US investigation.

Mrs Dobinson was the third member of the Ipswich Cycling Club to die within a short time. Malcolm Kamp was killed on the Warrego Hwy last June and Carly Hibberd died after she was hit by a car during a training ride in Italy.

Their deaths sparked the formation of the 24/7 Cycling Safety Fund to raise awareness of bicycles and to build a safe public cycling venue in Ipswich.

The fund's founder is Mrs Dobinson's son Troy Dobinson.

Last month, Ipswich City Council and 24/7 agreed to share information about the council's plans for cycling infrastructure.

Their aim is to drive a common cycling strategy and lobby the state and federal governments together to make sure all Ipswich cyclists have access to cycling infrastructure.

Mayor Paul Pisasale made cycling facilities a key element of his campaign policies.

Topics:  death, narelle dobinson, trial


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