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Truck driver accused of killing motorist was on wrong side of road to avoid crash, court hears

PUBLISHED: 15:39 21 March 2019

The crash took place on Foulden Road between Foulden and Northwold. Picture: Simon Parkin

The crash took place on Foulden Road between Foulden and Northwold. Picture: Simon Parkin

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A truck driver accused of killing a motorist said he steered to the wrong side of the road as an instinctual reaction to try to avoid a crash, a court heard.

Grigore Anton, who is on trial at Norwich Crown Court accused of death by dangerous driving, also denied he had reverted to driving as if he was in his native Romania.

Luke Ware, a 29-year-old plumber from Foulden, near Thetford, was killed in the crash on Foulden Road in Didlington.

Anton, a self-employed truck driver, had been driving from Birmingham to Belgium and stopped at Foulden to purchase tyres from an eBay seller.

After leaving the village, he drove south towards Northwold when the crash with Mr Ware’s car took place at around 6.35pm on October 9.

Giving evidence, Anton said he steered his Scania lorry over to the right side of the road in order to avoid a collision with Mr Ware’s Daihatsu 4x4.

Answering questions from his defence lawyer Lynne Shirley, Anton denied he was in the right lane for a long period of time before steering to avoid the oncoming car.

He also described the immediate moments after the crash.

Speaking through an interpreter, Anton said: “I was really shocked, I didn’t know what to do. I was trying to open my door because it was a little bit locked and I went straight away to Mr Ware’s car.

“I tried to open his door but it was locked. I managed to open it and I saw him with his head between the seats and he had not worn his seatbelt.

“I tried to talk to him to see if he reacts in any way but there were no reactions.”

Anton added that his steering away from the correct side of the road was an “instinctual reaction” which he made to try to avoid a collision.

Anton escaped uninjured from the crash while Mr Ware was pronounced dead less than half an hour after the collision.

The trial continues, with the jury expected to retire on Friday to consider their verdict.

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