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Van driver denies killing champion triathlete, 52, by dangerous driving after she was knocked off her bike while training


A van driver today denied killing a champion triathlete by dangerous driving after knocking the 52-year-old off her bike. 

Mother-of-two Rebecca Comins was hit by Vasile Barbu’s Vauxhall Movano van while cycling on the A40 near Raglan, Gwent, in South Wales.

Van driver Mr Barbu, 48, will now stand trial on the charge of causing death by dangerous driving which has a maximum sentence of 14 years jail.

Cardiff Crown Court heard champion athlete Rebecca, known as Becky, died at the scene of the crash on June 2 last year.

Judge David Wynn Morgan granted bail to Romanian-born Barbu, of Abergavenny, Monmouthshire, and set a trial date for April 29 next year. 

Champion triathlete Rebecca Comins (pictured) was hit by a van on the A40 near Raglan, Gwent in South Wales

Champion triathlete Rebecca Comins (pictured) was hit by a van on the A40 near Raglan, Gwent in South Wales 

Vasile Barbu (pictured) denied killing the triathlete by dangerous driving after knocking Rebecca Commins off her bike

Vasile Barbu (pictured) denied killing the triathlete by dangerous driving after knocking Rebecca Commins off her bike

Prosecutor James Wilson said: ‘The prosecution asks that this matter be stood up for trial.’

Tributes were paid to Rebecca, known as Becky, who was the current Vintage Veteran Champion of the Welsh Triathlon Super Series.

At the time of her death, her family said ‘beautiful’ Rebecca was taken ‘doing something she loved.’

‘She was a caring and loving wife to Stephen and an amazing mum to both George and Millie,’ her family said. 

In a statement, Welsh Triathlon said: ‘Becky was a fierce competitor, but with it had a positivity and energy that was infectious.

‘The current Vintage Veteran Champion of the Welsh Triathlon Super Series, a title which she also won in 2019, Becky was due to compete in a Welsh tri-suit at the British Championships this weekend at WTS Leeds as part of Tîm Tri Cymru along with her son George.

‘She was also looking forward to racing at the British Sprint Championships in Cardiff.

‘Such was Becky’s love for the sport and wanting to be involved, she even volunteered to act as a Tîm Tri Cymru Team Manager had she not made a recovery from injury earlier this year.

Rebecca Comins (pictured) died at the scene of the collision on the A40 in South Wales on June 2 last year

Rebecca Comins (pictured) died at the scene of the collision on the A40 in South Wales on June 2 last year

Mother-of-two Rebecca Comins is the current Vintage Veteran Champion of the Welsh Triathlon Super Series

Mother-of-two Rebecca Comins is the current Vintage Veteran Champion of the Welsh Triathlon Super Series

‘Becky was a multiple Ironman Wales finisher and also represented the Great Britain Age Group Team at the European Championships in Tartu 2018, as well as at the World Championships in Lausanne in 2019, finishing competitively in both.

‘In 2019, she was the fastest female at the Swansea Triathlon, and also the Minehead triathlon.

‘She loved the sport; she loved the training and Becky was central to any social activities across her clubs.

‘Becky will be sadly missed by everyone within our triathlon community, and we extend our deepest sympathies to Becky’s family, Steve, George and Millie and her wider friends at this sad time.’

Becky was a member of the Dragon Tri Club, Newport Phoenix Cycling Club and Caldicot Running Club.



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