Drivers deny killing Sunderland cyclist by careless driving after being ‘blinded by the sun’

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Two drivers caused the death of a cyclist when they both ploughed into him within 15 minutes of each other because they were “blinded” by the sun, a court heard.

Stan Coates was injured but alive and conscious after he was hit by Michael Elton’s black Corsa motor on Burdon Lane in Sunderland on October 26 2012.

The 55 year old, from West Herrington, was able to speak to the emergency services about his sore wrist and knee as he sat at the roadside waiting for an ambulance.

Newcastle Crown Court heard, within minutes of him being struck the first time, he was hit by a second car, another, white, Corsa motor being driven by Edward

Peverley, and dragged along the road.

The tragic cyclist died in hospital from multiple fractures and injuries in the early hours of the following morning.

Prosecutors claim both drivers were “blinded” by the sun when they hit Mr Coates and had not taken appropriate steps to make driving in such conditions safe.

Prosecutor Michael Hodson said: “The crown’s case is they should have slowed down, far below the speed they continued to travel at, you may think to a crawl, with hazard lights on.

“What they should not have done was what both did.”

The court heard accident investigators estimate Elton may have been travelling at up to 50mph and Peverley at less than 40mph.

Elton, 25, of Rothbury Road, Newton Hall, and Peverley, 21, of Hetton Moor Farm, Easington Lane, both deny causing death by careless driving.

Both drivers stopped at the scene when they realised they had had been in accidents.

The court heard that despite Mr Coates surviving the first collision, prosecutors say both drivers are to blame for his death.

Mr Hodson told jurors: “Elton’s careless driving knocked Mr Coates down into the road, which was the reason why Peverley hit him.

“Mr Elton’s careless driving has therefore contributed, in more than a minimal way, to the death of Mr Coates.

“He was driving too fast at the time when he knew he couldn’t see the road ahead.

“It is obvious, the Crown say, is it not, that a fatal accident might occur in those circumstances and he is then guilty.

“Peverley was driving too fast when he couldn’t see the road ahead.

“If you are sure he was driving carelessly, he has contributed more than slightly to the death and is guilty of causing death by careless driving.”

The trial continues.