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Man accused of causing 86-year-old’s death by dangerous driving goes on trial

Mo Smith

[A] LORRY driver accused of causing a North Cumbria pensioner’s death by dangerous driving near Carlisle has gone on trial.

Maureen Smith, an 86-year-old mother, grandmother and great grandmother from Heads Nook, Brampton, died at the scene of a head-on A689 crash on November 16.

While driving eastbound, her white Fiat Panda and an HGV being driven by Polish national Jaroslaw Mieczan were in collision. He denies causing her death by dangerous driving, and his trial began at Carlisle Crown Court today (TUES).

Prosecutor Kim Whittlestone, opening the case, said Mieczan, 44, was travelling behind a westbound Ford Fiesta. That car, she said, braked and indicated prior to turning right for Irthington at around 3-10pm.

But Mieczan, the prosecutor said, had been “distracted”, “didn’t pay attention” to the Ford Fiesta and “failed to realise until it was too late” that it was stationary on a “clear straight road”.

The pensioner’s driving, said Miss Whittlestone, was “impeccable”. “No blame can be directed at her when considering how the accident was caused,” she told jurors. “She was struck head-on as the HGV, driven by this defendant, steered directly into her path, leaving her no time to react or take evasive action.”

Mieczan, of Molodiatycze, Trzeszczany, eastern Poland, later claimed to police the Fiesta driver had “stopped suddenly” and was at fault. He denied being distracted.

“The question you are going to decide, members of the jury,” said Miss Whittlestone, “is what happened to cause the vehicles to collide.”

The trial continues.

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