‘Sunderland lorry driver had time to see cyclist,’ death crash trial told

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A LORRY driver who crashed into and killed a cyclist would have had at least 120 metres to see the rider, a court heard.

The jury in the trial of Paul Dove heard details of a police reconstruction of the circumstances surrounding the death of cyclist Christopher Griffiths on the A19.

“In a best-case scenario, Mr Dove could have seen the cyclist from 205 metres,” accident investigator Pc Robin Turner told Teesside Crown Court.

“The tachograph of the lorry showed a speed of 52.8mph prior to emergency braking.

“A skid mark from the lorry’s trailer begins 46 metres after the area of impact.”

Dove, 55, of Aldwych Square, Farringdon, Sunderland, denies causing death by careless driving on the A19 near Billingham on January 23 last year.

Four drivers on the road at the time told the court that Mr Griffiths, 50, was cycling on a metre-wide strip of asphalt to the left of the road’s nearside rumble strip.

Each of the drivers said Mr Griffiths was difficult to see in the early morning darkness, but they had seen him.

Prosecutor Paul Cleasby said: “The vehicle immediately in front of Mr Dove passed the cyclist without deviating.

“This suggests the cyclist was still on the road’s margin when he was hit from behind by Mr Dove’s lorry.

Pc Turner said: “From my investigation, I conclude the cyclist was still on the margin when the collision happened.

“Mr Dove could not explain to us why he did not see the cyclist, who was there to be seen.

“If Mr Dove had been driving in his lane, and paying proper attention, the collision would not have happened.”

Stuart Driver QC, defending, asked Pc Turner if there was any evidence the lorry had encroached into the margin of the road.

Pc Turner said: “There is no evidence of that, but there wouldn’t be.”