Driver accused of causing death of friend who fell from his pick-up truck
PUBLISHED: 07:56 30 July 2019
A driver has gone on trial for causing the death of his friend, who died after falling from the back of his open pick-up truck.
Tyrone Clarke, 31, was giving Scott Baisley, 28, a lift from the pub in the open loading area of his Nissan Nivara, where there were no seatbelts or restraints, when he fell from the vehicle in what was described at Norwich Crown Court as an accident waiting to happen.
Mr Baisley, who was six foot five inches tall, struck his head on the ground after losing his footing and falling headfirst from the pick-up in King's Drive, Bradwell, the court heard yesterday.
Mr Baisley, from St Olaves, near Great Yarmouth, suffered a "catastrophic" brain injury and was rushed to the James Paget University Hospital, in Gorleston, and was later transferred to Addenbrooke's Hospital, in Cambridge, for treatment.
He died four days later on June 26, 2017, without regaining consciousness.
Clarke, of Howard's Way, Bradwell, has denied causing death by dangerous driving and an alternative charge of causing death by careless driving on June 22, 2017, while over the legal drug-drive limit.
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Peter Gair, prosecuting, said the death was "rather unnecessary", because, although seats were available in the pick-up, Clarke had allowed his friend to sit in the back with another friend. Mr Gair said: "We say this was an accident waiting to happen."
He said that Mr Baisley had lost his balance and fallen from the pick-up, and Mr Gair said any competent and careful driver should have realised the dangers of allowing passengers to sit in the open loading area rather in a seat in his car.
He said: "It would have been obvious to any competent and careful driver that was dangerous. This is why the defendant is on trial."
He said it was an unusual case as the prosecution was not alleging that Clarke had been speeding or swerving when the accident happened.
When interviewed by police, Clarke was found to have cocaine and cannabis in his system, the court heard.
Conor Edwards, who had been in the back of the pick-up with Mr Baisley, told how his friend had stood up and stumbled before falling from the vehicle.
The trial continues.