Accused Lowestoft death crash driver chooses not to give evidence

PUBLISHED: 09:12 05 March 2014 | UPDATED: 09:28 05 March 2014

A12 Lowestoft,scene of the fatal accident.

A12 Lowestoft,scene of the fatal accident.

© Archant 2012

A woman accused of causing the death of a partially-sighted man by careless driving has chosen not to give evidence at her trial.

Samantha Pitcher, 28, is accused of not concentrating on the road ahead of her and failing to see 74-year-old David Wright and his wife Pauline as they crossed Yarmouth Road, Lowestoft, after a meal with their son and grandchildren last year at the Foxburrow pub.

Ipswich Crown Court has heard that Mr Wright was walking with a white reflective stick and holding his wife’s arm when the collision with a car driven by Pitcher happened.

The couple’s son, Howard, was walking ahead with his two children when he heard a short screech of tyres and a “massive crack” and turned to see his mother lying on the kerb and his father under Pitcher’s car.

Mr Wright, of Gainsborough Drive, Gunton, died from his injuries and his wife now has to use a walking frame.

Pitcher, of Maidstone Road, Lowestoft, has denied causing Mr Wright’s death by careless driving on February 18 last year and yesterday chose not to give evidence during her trial.

Michael Crimp, prosecuting, said the collision took place shortly before 9pm as the couple were walking home after a meal with their son and grandchildren.

Mr Crimp alleged Pitcher, who was driving towards Lowestoft, should have seen the couple.

“They represented a hazard in the road when they crossed it. That was a hazard she should have seen, could have seen and should have been in a position to deal with if she 
had been driving safely and carefully,” Mr Crimp said.

“Because she wasn’t paying due care and attention on the road ahead of her, she failed to see them and failed to react to them safely.”

He said in the minutes leading up to the crash, Pitcher’s phone had been used to send and receive text messages but there was no evidence to suggest she was using the phone at the time of the accident.

Mrs Wright told the court she and her husband had 
been married for 51 years 
and he had gradually lost his sight due to a genetic condition.

The court head Mrs Wright had no recollection of the accident and woke up in Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge, where she underwent various operations.

The court has heard there was no evidence that Pitcher was speeding.

Graham Oakley, an 
accident investigator consultant for the defence, said a left-hand curve in the road bordered by a hedgerow and lighting on just one side could have resulted in reduced visibility.

The jury is expected to retire to consider its verdict today.

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