Norfolk ambulance driver denies causing death by careless driving

An experienced Norfolk ambulance driver attending an emergency is alleged to have turned into the path of am oncoming motorcyclist, causing his death at the scene, a court heard.

Motorcyclist Neil Griffiths, 54, received serious injuries following the collision at the Green Lane junction, on the A146 Beccles Road, at Hales, on July 9 last year. Norwich Crown Court was told.

Ambulance driver Ivor Prow, 52, who has been an ambulance driver for more than 27 years, was attending an emergency call to an address in the Hales area, when he is alleged to have pulled in front of motorcyclist Mr Griffiths, who died at the scene.

Prow, of Gorleston Road, Oulton Broad, near Lowestoft. has denied causing the death of Mr Griffiths by careless driving.

Chris Youell, prosecuting, said: 'There is no suggestion that Ivor Prow is anything other than a experienced and respected ambulance driver. But on this particular day, and on that particular occasion, his driving fell below the standard required.'

He said that shortly before the collision, Prow had indicated left, but at some point changed his mind and made a decision to go right when the collision occurred.

Mr Youell said that Mr Griffiths died at the scene and Prow and his colleague Carole Shirt were also injured.

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Mr Youell said: 'He was going to an emergency but he had a duty of not putting anyone else in danger.'

He added: 'It was his duty in making that right turn to make sure no one was coming. This collision between the motorcyclist and ambulance occurred because he did not wait for a safe gap and turned into the path of an oncoming motorcycle.'

He said that the standard of Prow's driving had fallen below the standard required but said that no one was saying he was driving in a dangerous manner or like a 'boy racer'.

'In this case we are dealing with carelessness,' he added.

He described the crash as a 'tragic incident' and told the jury that it happened at exactly this time last year.

'He did not see the motorcycle and turned in his path and that is how the collision occurred.'

Paramedic Ms Shirt, who was in the ambulance with Prow, said that she had no concern about Prow's driving prior to the collision and said that she just remembered seeing something out of the corner of her eye and then there was a collision.

'There was a noise like an explosion and I was thrown to the right of my seat.'

She said she suffered an arm injury and thinks she might have lost consciousness.

'I was not really aware of what was happening.'

However, she said she later found out that a motorcyclist had been involved in a collision with the ambulance she was in.

Driver David Molkenthin, was travelling along the A146 towards Beccles when he saw the ambulance first turning left and then indicating right.

He said that he had stopped in the road as he said he thought it looked like the ambulance was not sure where it was going and wanted to make sure the ambulance driver knew that he was going to 'stay put' until he decided where he was going.

But he said as the ambulance turned right into a road opposite, he had heard a loud bang and debris from the motorcycle had gone flying in the air, although he said the ambulance had obscured his view of the actual collision.

Mr Molkenthin said he had remained at the scene and had tried to assist the motorcyclist .

The trial continues.

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