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A66 death crash trial motorist disputes his driving was dangerous

David Bennell

[A] MOTORIST who caused the death of a pensioner has told a jury: “I will carry that with me for the rest of my life.”

Calum Wilkinson, 25, is on trial at Carlisle Crown Court. He admits causing the death of 82-year-old David Bennell by careless driving on April 29 last year. However, Wilkinson denies his driving was dangerous.

Jurors have heard that Mr Bennell died in Newcastle Royal Victoria Infirmary two days after a “horrific” head-on collision. This occurred on the A66 close to his home at Braithwaite, near Keswick.

The pensioner’s westbound Toyota Avensis was struck by Wilkinson’s oncoming Volkswagen Bora which was “entirely” on Mr Bennell’s side of the road.

Giving evidence today (TUES), Wilkinson said he couldn’t recall the crash. His first memory was his family arriving at hospital, where he spent six days.

“I can only base my plea on what I have seen in terms of the evidence presented to me,” he told the court, “and I can only comment and say that (it was) a mistake possibly made on my part that resulted sadly in the death of Mr Bennell.

“I will carry that with me for the rest of my life.”

But Wilkinson, of Eaigle Terrace, Main Road, Flimby, insisted: “As regards to it being dangerous I would dispute that.”

The trial continues.

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