Wednesday, 25 November 2015

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Driver spoke to police before he died from crash injury

A court has heard a dead man’s description of the head-on crash that cost him his life.

Cleared: Peter Hayward

Lorry driver Craig Wood, 45, died weeks after the collision on the A595 at Bothel. But before he passed away from complications from a leg injury he suffered in the crash, he spoke to police.

And Mr Wood’s account was read to a jury as the man accused of being to blame for his death went on trial.

Peter Hayward, 53, of Mill Hill, Cleator Moor, denies causing death by driving without due care and attention. He was also severely injured in the crash in May 2012.

Tim Brennand, prosecuting, read the statement by Mr Wood who described being close to the A595’s junction at Mealsgate, near Wigton, when he was first aware of a black car coming towards him, saying it “veered” towards a red car in front of him “for no apparent reason”.

Mr Brennand read: “The black car collided with the back door area [of the red car] causing the car to go in a clockwise direction. I took evasive action – I thought the black car was going to hit me head on – but this was futile. The black car was in my lane.”

In his statement Mr Wood said that the majority of the vehicle was in front of him and added: “The black car collided with the front of my vehicle. I was thrown around my cab even though my seat belt was on.”

The jury heard statements from others involved and witnesses who said they saw a black Volkswagen Passat veering into oncoming traffic before drifting head-on into the HGV being driven by Mr Wood, from Crook in County Durham.

The driver of the red car, Jacqueline Dixon, said in her statement that she had intended to turn at the junction when she saw the flash of the black Passat and realised that it had collided with her own vehicle.

She said: “We slid across the carriageway. I felt the car was going to barrel roll. Thankfully the car didn’t roll onto its side. We were facing back the way we had come.”

She added that she had tried to use her phone to call for help and that she was shaken by the incident but both she and her two elderly passengers were unhurt.

Another witness, David Winder, had been travelling towards Cockermouth and was in front of the red car at the time and was the first driver to see the Passat.

In his statement, he said: “The black car appeared around a bend.

“The bend is also in a slight dip. The black car was drifting towards me. I realised that the car was going to collide with me. I didn’t have time to think but I managed to take evasive action.”

He caught a glimpse of the VW driver as it went past and added: “I saw no facial expression. He was completely emotionless.”

Crash investigator PC Richard Wiejak said that the VW’s speedometer had frozen at 40mph, its likely speed at the time of the head-on collision with Mr Wood’s lorry.

The trial continues.


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