Van driver goes on trial after motorcyclist killed in crash on A47

PUBLISHED: 11:22 08 October 2019 | UPDATED: 11:22 08 October 2019

Norwich Crown Court. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Norwich Crown Court. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Jamie Honeywood Archant Norwich Norfolk

A van driver has gone of trial for causing the death of a motorcyclist by careless driving after he pulled out of a junction into the path of the biker on the A47, a court heard.

Ford Transit driver Richard West, 64, pulled out of the Broadend Road Junction, at Walsoken, shortly before 11.20am on September 23, 2017, which caused biker Ivars Saliss to take avoiding action to try to get round the van, only to then collide head-on with a BMW car, a Norwich Crown Court jury was told.

The biker ended up in a ditch and was killed in the collision,

West, of Smeeth Road, Marshland St James, has denied causing death by careless driving.

Chris Youell, prosecuting, said West's driving fell below that of a careful and competent driver that day and said: "West misjudged the situation and misjudged the speed of the motorcyclist."

He said there was some suggestion Mr Saliss had been speeding and driving above the 60mph speed limit on that stretch of road: "We don't know exactly what speed he was doing. He was travelling in excess of the speed limit."

However he said West should have still judged the speed of the biker as any driver who pulls out of a junction must not assume that everyone is travelling at the speed limit: "If they have any doubt, they should wait till it is safe."

He said in this case West did not do that and said: "That is why he is facing the charge of causing death by careless driving."

Mr Youell told the jury: "You are here to decide on that standard of driving

He said vehicles of everyone involved in the collision were checked afterwards and none had any defects.

One witness Darren Ismay, who gave evidence over a link from Leicester, said Mr Saliss had overtaken him shortly before the collision and said Mr Saliss had been travelling at some speed and overtaken in a hatched area, which he should not have done.

He said the collision happened very quickly and he saw Mr Saliss launched in the air and realised he must be seriously injured.

The trial continues.

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