December 9 2013 Latest news:
Thursday, October 24, 2013
A taxi driver told a jury how he was forced to take evasive action after an oncoming car came onto his side of the road while overtaking a cyclist, but said the teenage driver following him ended up veering into gravel at the road side to try to avoid a collision before losing control and drifting into the carriageway.
Norwich Crown Court has heard how 19 year-old Georgia Puttock was involved in a collision on the A143-A146 road, near Gillingham. The impact killed Kathryn Rivett, 18 a front seat passenger and talented sportsman Sam Jaggard, also 18, while Puttock also sustained serious injuries.
Puttock, of Broadwaters Road, Lowestoft, has pleaded not guilty to two charges of causing death by careless driving on July 17, last year.
Giving evidence Michael Gennery, who has been a taxi driver for 45 years, said that Puttock had followed him from Norwich and had been driving “correctly”.
He said that when they got near the section of road, near Gillingham, an oncoming car heading towards Norwich, had got impatient and pulled out to overtake the cyclist.
Mr Gennery said that he had to pull sharply to the left to avoid a collision as the car had crossed onto his side of the road but managed not to hit the dirt and gravel at the side of the road.
He said: “If I did not take evasive action it would have hit the rear passenger door.”
He said the young driver behind him was also forced to pull over to the left but she hit the gravel at the side of the road an appeared to lose control.
He said that when he looked in his mirror he saw the car had drifted into the carriageway.
“I could see her hit the dirt and gravel then she came out back across the road. I did not know what had happened.”
He said that the driver had done all she could but lacked the experience.
He said the driver who lost his patience and had overtaken the cyclist causing the oncoming cars to take evasive action, had justsped off.
He said he had got his passenger to dial 999 as he realised that emergency services would be needed at the scene.
Cross-examined by Jude Durr, defending, Mr Gennery said Puttock could not have avoided going into the gravel and agreed that there had been nothing inapropriate or wrong about the manner of her driving.
Puttock was travelling in a Vauxhall Corsa with her two friends , who all attended Kirkley High School - now East Point Academy, when the collision occured.
The trial continues.