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Tuesday, 23 September 2014

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Diabetic driver tells Carlisle court crashes caused by hypo 'attack'

A driver who collided with two cars on a hair-raising seven-mile trip along a busy main road in north Cumbria claims it was because he was in “an involuntary state” after a medical emergency.

Hugh Litke, 61, who is a diabetic, claims he suffered a sudden onset hypoglycaemic attack while driving his Peugeot 406 on the A7 at Brisco Hill, near Longtown, on the afternoon of October 10, 2012.

Litke, of Stackbraes, Longtown, denies dangerous driving, saying he could not be blamed for the standard of driving which resulted in two separate crashes with oncoming cars.

David Pojur, prosecuting, told the jury that Litke had just left work when he was seen driving “erratically”, with his car drifting across the central white lines, speeding up and slowing down without reason and narrowly missing oncoming cars and lorries.

He was seen to drive onto a grass verge, and at one stage hit the wing mirror of a car being driven by Michael Murthwaite.

As he approached Longtown, Carlisle Crown Court heard, Litke collided with a car being driven by William Jones, causing serious damage although nobody was hurt.

Litke drove on for about 200 metres and was found “dazed and confused” in the driver’s seat, Mr Pojur said.

He told a paramedic he was diabetic and could have suffered a hypoglycaemic attack but tests showed only “slightly low” blood sugar levels.

The court heard Litke claimed to have been in an “involuntary state” because of his condition, but Mr Poju said the prosecution did not accept that.

The trial continues.

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