Lorry driver was speeding moments before fatal Corsham collision, jury hears

Tommy Ford

Tommy Ford

First published in News

A lorry driver was speeding moments before his vehicle was in collision with an 89-year-old who was crossing the road, a jury has been told.

The large Seddon Atkinson vehicle Andrew Greenhalgh was driving touched 38mph just over 100 yards from the accident in a 30mph zone, a court heard.

And as it slowed to below limit on Valley Road in Corsham, on Monday November 26, 2012, it was in collision with Tommy Ford, who died at the scene.

Greenhalgh, 43, of Dicketts Road, Corsham, is on trial at Swindon Crown Court having pleaded not guilty to causing death by careless driving.

Charles Gabb, prosecuting, said Mr Ford 'walked everywhere' and was on his way home from visiting a friend's widow when he crossed the road at 5pm.

He told the jury it is not known whether Mr Ford, who walked with a stick and had hearing aids on both ears, looked both ways before stepping out into the road.

"Had he looked properly to the left he would have seen this defendant coming towards him, Mr Greenhalgh driving a fairly large vehicle," he said.

Greenhalgh had 650 yards to spot the pensioner approach and step off the kerb, he said, adding: "The Crown say he should have seen him".

Although it was in the dark at the time he said Mr Ford was directly under a street light as he crossed the road.

Mr Gabb told the court the lorry's tachograph showed the vehicle's movement 'almost to the yard' and had been studied by experts.

"It had got up to 38mph, not for very long, but it had got to 38mph and then its speed began to decrease," he said.

"It got down to 27mph, 3mph within the speed limit, when heavy braking was applied.

"At the time of impact it was about 14mph. That is what the tachograph was able to show."

He said Mr Ford had 'almost made it' from one side of the road to the other when the collision took place.

The pensioner was struck by the lorry's front nearside, throwing him in the air, causing multiple injuries and he was certified dead at the scene.

Mr Gabb said: "Whilst the tragedy is Mr Ford as a pedestrian may well have an element of responsibility for the accident, the primary responsibility is that of Mr Greenhalgh.

"Mr Ford had walked at least 7.1 metres from the driver's off side in to the road before he was stuck.

"What in that period of time was Mr Greenhalgh doing? Why wasn't he able to avoid the collision?

"The Crown say he wasn't, perhaps in a moment of inattention, he didn't or wasn't driving with due care and attention because we say if he was this accident wouldn't have happened because he had time to stop."

The case continues.

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