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A66 death crash trial jury hears lorry driver’s police interview

Ashley Cole outside Carlisle Crown Court

[A] JURY in the trial of a trucker accused of causing death by dangerous driving has heard the comments he made during a police interview after the fatal crash.

Ashley Cole, 56, admits his careless driving caused the death of 30-year-old Jamie Armstrong. Mr Armstrong died having suffered “catastrophic” head injuries when his eastbound Audi A4 was in collision with Cole’s Scania lorry at 5-20am on September 8 in 2016.

However, Cole denies that dangerous driving caused Mr Armstrong’s death, and is on trial at Carlisle Crown Court.

The lorry driver told police he checked both ways as he left Stainmore cafe and allowed two westbound HGVs to pass before moving to the central reservation. He remained there for 15 seconds, leaving his 40ft-long furniture-laden trailer obstructing the eastbound carriageway.

“I looked to my right again and then (I was) just about to go, and then the Audi hit me. That’s as quick as it was,” he recalled.

His “mint” condition vehicle, he told officers, had “got more lights on it than Blackpool Tower”. “I just don’t understand why he (Mr Armstrong) had not seen me,” Cole said. “I just don’t know why.”

An officer asked: “Was your driving dangerous on that morning so that it caused the death of another road user, by your actions or inaction?”

Cole, of Ecclesfield, Sheffield, replied: “No.”

The trial continues.

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