Halesworth man in court over death of young motorcyclist

Ipswich Crown Court. Archant Library.

Ipswich Crown Court. Archant Library. - Credit: Archant

An unqualified 19-year-old motorcyclist, who was riding at an estimated 87-97mph, died when a van driver turned into his path, it has been alleged.

Darnell Meade was an experienced off-road bike rider but hadn't passed his test to be on the road when he was fatally injured in a collision with a transit van driven by 61-year old David Thomas in April last year, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

The collision happened on the C492 Norwich Road at the junction of Sandy Lane in Barham, just outside Claydon shortly after 2pm.

Isobel Ascherson, prosecuting, said Thomas had been driving along Norwich Road heading west parallel with the A14 and the collision had happened as he turned right to go into Sandy Lane.

Mr Meade, who was riding a Kawasaki, was travelling in the opposite direction and had hit the side of the transit van as Mr Thomas allegedly turned into his path.


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'The prosecution case is that if the defendant had looked properly as a careful and competent driver would, he would have seen the motorcyclist coming and he wouldn't have crossed the road in front of him,' said Miss Ascherson.

She said Mr Meade had not been displaying 'L' plates and wasn't accompanied by a qualified motorcyclist.

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The court heard that as Mr Meade entered a 40mph limit shortly before the collision he was travelling at a speed, estimated by police from CCTV, of between 87-97mph.

She said the collision was witnessed by a friend of Mr Meade's who was travelling in a car behind him.

Miss Ascherson said the impact was so forceful that the van nearly tipped over and Mr Meade, of Needham Market, was killed instantly.

She said that prior to the collision another witness heard a powerful motor cycle engine revving and described seeing a motorcycle go 'flying past.'

Miss Ascherson alleged that Thomas would have had around 6-7 seconds to see Mr Meade's motorcycle before the impact.

Thomas, of Old Station Road, Halesworth has denied causing Mr Meade's death by careless driving.

After his arrest Thomas said he hadn't seen the bike and the last thing he remembered was the road being clear.

He had been making a delivery and told police he had been looking in his wing mirrors to see if a vehicle behind him was going to overtake him.

The trial continues.

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