‘I can’t remember what happened’ - Van driver on trial over A47 death crash gives evidence

Norwich Crown Court. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood

Norwich Crown Court. PICTURE: Jamie Honeywood - Credit: Archant

A van driver on trial for causing the death of a motorcyclist by careless driving on the A47 said he was truly sorry but now struggled to remember what exactly happened.

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,

The prosecution says West misjudged the situation and his driving fell below that of a careful and competent driver.

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


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Giving evidence, West, who was tearful in the witness box, said on the day of the collision he had gone out with his daughter to buy a birthday cake.

He said after the collision he remained at the scene and spoke to police about what he thought had happened.

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West said that afterwards he struggled to cope with the accident and kept going over things in his mind.

"I have thought about it all the time. It has played on my mind. It was going through my head all the time."

When interviewed by police about the matter he said he had been given medication from his doctor and now could not say exactly what happened.

"I can't say exactly what happened. I can't remember."

West said that he was sorry about the accident, and told jury: "For two years I have had this hanging over me. I am truly sorry what happened."

Cross examined by Chris Youell, prosecuting, West said that in the months after the accident until he was interviewed by police, he kept going over things in his mind.

"I was struggling to think what had happened. I was seeing things in my mind. It was going over in my head every day. I cannot remember."

The jury is to hear closing speeches from the prosecution and defence before the judge sums up in the trial.

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