Driver in crash which killed couple was on wrong side of road, court hears
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A man and a woman died in a head-on collision on a Suffolk road after a car driven by a 38-year-old woman veered into their path as she drove out of a bend, a court has heard.
Bruno Delmonte, 69 who was driving a BMW 325i and his front seat passenger, 79-year-old Regina Brook, known as Gina, suffered “catastrophic” injuries in the crash on the A134 at Alpheton at about 11.30am on August 31, 2018, Ipswich Crown Court was told.
Mr Delmonte, of Great Henry, died from his injuries the following day after being taken to Addenbrooke’s Hospital and Gina Brook was declared dead at the scene.
Rebecca Beswick, who was driving a Mini Cooper, was also injured and has subsequently been diagnosed with traumatic amnesia which meant she had no memory of the accident or events leading up to it, said Gareth Hughes, prosecuting.
“The prosecution don”t challenge the expert finding that her amnesia is genuine.
“It does mean she can’t help as to the reason or reasons why she drove her Mini across double white lines in the centre of the road into the wrong lane, said Mr Hughes.
He told the court that Beswick had been travelling in the opposite direction to the BMW driven by Mr Delmonte and instead of straightening up as she came round a right hand bend she had crossed the double white lines in the centre of the road into the path of the BMW.
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Mr Hughes said Beswick”s Mini Cooper started to cross into the opposite lane 50m before the collision took place and experts agreed that the time taken for her Mini to cross the double white lines and hit the BMW was two seconds or less.
Mr Hughes said Mr Delmonte had no time to brake and hadn’t “stood a chance” at avoiding the collision.
He said Beswick’s mobile phone had been examined and there were no calls or texts at around the time of the crash which could have distracted her and neither vehicle had been speeding.
Both cars had been checked and no mechanical defects that could have caused the collision had been found and the weather on the day had been fine and dry.
Mr Hughes said the speed limit on the road was 60mph and following the collision the speedometer on the Mini was stuck at 60mph which was consistent with the level of damage and distance travelled by both cars.
An eye witness had estimated the BMW to have been travelling at about 50mph.
“It comes down to this. The width and layout of both carriageways on the A134 mean two vehicles can pass each other in opposing lanes separated by double white lines,” said Mr Hughes.
“The collision took place within Mr Delmonte’s lane and it occurred as a result of Rebecca Beswick’s Mini crossing into Mr Delmonte’s lane.
“The time taken to cross and impact with Mr Delmonte’s car was two seconds or less and was insufficient for him to react and take avoiding action such as braking.
“There is no evidence of pre-impact braking by either vehicle.
“Why did she drive into the wrong lane? There was nothing about the road, the vehicles or weather and there’s no evidence that anything distracted her.
“It appears she kept steering into the bend when the bend ended.
“We suggest it wasn’t mere carelessness. It was a serious dangerous momentary error of judgement,” alleged Mr Hughes.
Beswick, of Old Croxton Road, Thetford, has denied two offences of causing death by dangerous driving.
The jury has heard that she has admitted the less serious charge of causing death by careless driving.
The trial, which is expected to conclude this week, continues.