Sunderland lorry driver denies killing cyclist

Paul Dove leaves Teesside Crown Court where he is on trial for causing death by careless driving.

Paul Dove leaves Teesside Crown Court where he is on trial for causing death by careless driving.

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A SUNDERLAND lorry driver has gone on trial, accused of killing a cyclist on the A19.

Paul Dove, 55, is alleged to have driven his Mercedes Actros lorry into the back of a Raleigh Record Sprint bike ridden by Christopher Griffiths.

Teesside Crown Court heard that Mr Griffiths, 50, of Wynyard, was killed as he rode along the southbound carriageway of the A19, between the A689 and A1027 junctions, near Billingham.

Prosecutor Paul Cleasby told a jury that Mr Griffiths had set off from his home and was on his way to work when the collision happened at about 7.10am.

“Dove was driving from his depot in Jarrow to Oppenshaw, near Manchester,” said Mr Cleasby. “He later told the police he was running a little late.

“The front nearside of the Mercedes collided with the rear of the cycle.

“Mr Dove was unable to say how he had not seen the cycle until he was 20 yards away.

“He said the cyclist was standing beside his bike, although other witnesses say he was riding.”

The court heard that CCTV footage of Mr Griffiths leaving Wynyard showed he was wearing a high-visibility jacket.

“The jacket was partly obscured by a rucksack,” added Mr Cleasby. “The footage also shows lights to the front and rear.

“It was just after 7am, and the A19 would have been busy at the time the accident happened.

“There is no restriction on pedal cycles using the road.

“Many drivers must have passed Mr Griffiths safely before the collision, although some expressed surprise at seeing a cyclist on the road.

“The crown’s case is that had Dove been driving in a careful and competent manner he would not have collided with Mr Griffiths.”

Dove, of Aldwych Square, Farringdon, denies causing death by careless driving on January 23 last year.

Proceeding.