Road death Scot in US twice over drink limit

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A CHAMPION skier from Edinburgh who was knocked down and killed in the US had been cycling in the middle of the night with no lights while almost twice the legal alcohol limit.

Police documents have also revealed that the driver of the car which killed Craig Macfie was almost twice the legal limit, and had not braked before the collision.

Mr Macfie, 24, from Morningside, was hit by a 4x4 as he was riding in Eugene, Oregon, in the early hours of November 18.

The Scot, who was studying at the University of Oregon, died in hospital the next day.

The driver, fellow Oregon University student Patrick Compton, 21, was arrested and charged with second-degree manslaughter and drink- driving in connection with the accident, which occurred at about 2.26am.

He is on bail awaiting a court appearance in the New Year.

Police documents released yesterday showed that, as well as being over the limit, Mr Macfie also had traces of cannabis in his system, and revealed the bike he had been riding at the time of the accident did not have any lights.

The documents were lodged at Lane County Courthouse, Eugene, and stated that a post-accident breathalyser test showed Compton had a blood alcohol level of 0.15 per cent.

Drivers in Oregon are presumed intoxicated with blood alcohol levels of 0.08 per cent or greater.

A blood sample taken from Mr Macfie revealed a blood alcohol content of 0.14 per cent, and a sample of his urine also tested positive for marijuana.

Oregon’s law against driving under the influence applies to cyclists as well as drivers.

Mr Macfie’s bike had no lights nor rear reflector, Eugene police said, despite the law requiring both after dark.

Compton told police that he had not seen the cyclist until the moment of impact.

The documents included a statement from Officer Scott Dillon, who noted that the crash occurred on a section of road where marked bicycle and auto lanes veer to the left to make room for a dedicated right-turn, and then a dedicated bus lane leading to a bus stop.

“It is necessary for motor vehicles and bicycles to gradually veer to their left in order to stay in their marked travel lanes,” the officer added.

He said Compton apparently failed to veer left in his lane, and apparently hit Mr Macfie, who was not wearing a helmet, in the bike lane after it veered to the left.

The officer reported finding no skid marks at the crash scene, suggesting that Compton never braked before the front bumper of his 1996 Toyota struck the rear tyre of Mr Macfie’s bike.

The impact caused Mr Macfie’s head to strike the bonnet of the Toyota, causing a fatal brain injury, Officer Dillon wrote.

CCTV footage showed that Mr Macfie was riding “at a speed significantly lower than the Toyota” when he was struck by the 4x4 from behind.

Compton, who denies drink-driving and manslaughter, has been warned he could face a mandatory minimum prison term of six years and three months if convicted.

Both Mr Macfie and Compton were scheduled to graduate from the University of Oregon this month.

Mr Macfie was a business administration and sports marketing major who competed for three years on the British Alpine Ski Team. A Snowsport Scotland spokeswoman said last month he was “an exceptionally talented athlete”.