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Whitehaven crash motorist on trial insists: “I wouldn’t say I was a dangerous driver”

Rosemary Lane in Whitehaven, where the collision occurred

A WOMAN has insisted she tried to brake before her vehicle collided with a pedestrian on a steep hill, and told a jury: “I wouldn’t say I was a dangerous driver.”

Karen Matthews, 61, is on trial at Carlisle Crown Court. Matthews denies one charge. This alleges that she caused serious injury to Ian Lithgow by dangerous driving near the foot of Rosemary Lane in Whitehaven on August 26, 2017.

Mr Lithgow suffered fractures to both legs, underwent surgery and was detained in hospital after being struck by Matthews’ Renault Clio.

A police examination of the car found no mechanical faults or failures which could have caused the crash. A forensic collision investigator concluded the most likely cause was “inadvertent misapplication of the accelerator pedal instead of the brake pedal”.

But when asked while giving evidence in court this afternoon (TUES) whether that was the case, Matthews replied: “Not to my knowledge, no.”

“I did see Ian. I didn’t know him then, and I tried to steer the car away from Ian, and it just wouldn’t go anywhere,” she said.

Matthews, of Harbour View, Whitehaven, spoke of being “hysterical” after an incident she called “horrific”. “What happened, to me, was just an accident. I didn’t set out for anything to happen,” she added.

“To my knowledge I put my foot on the brake and it didn’t work. I wouldn’t say I was a dangerous driver. I never have been.”

Asked by prosecutor Daniel Travers whether she thought her driving was careless, Matthews said: “I can’t say. I don’t think it was.”

The trial continues.

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