Driver ‘fatally lost control of speeding car’

Liverpool Crown Court
Liverpool Crown Court

A CYCLIST was killed after a speeding motorist lost control on a bend, a court heard.

Such was the head-on impact on a country road over the M6 near Leyland that part of victim Daniel Richmond’s bike was sent hurtling over the bridge onto the motorway below.

In the dock at Liverpool Crown Court is 38-year-old Andrew Irish, of Andertons Mill, Mawdesley, near Parbold, who denies causing death by dangerous driving.

The jury heard that Irish, who had only bought the high power car a week ealier, admits causing death by careless driving but that plea is not accepted by the Crown.

Charles Lander, prosecuting, said the incident happened just after 9.10am on Sunday, April 13 last year on Runshaw Lane, Euxton, Chorley.

Married man Mr Richmond and his friend Matthew Abbott had set off from Mr Richmond’s home in Lancashire 25 minutes earlier for a cycling trip to Southport on a route they had ridden before. They were correctly dressed and in single file on their own side of the road and just approaching a right hand bend when Irish came from the opposite direction on their side of the road and collided with Mr Richmond.

Mr Abbott, who had been in front heard the sound of Irish’s Audi S3 Quattro and hearing screeching thought the car was not going to make the bend without crossing the white line. He saw it going past him and then heard “an almighty crash. He got off his bike and saw his stricken friend who was lying up against the bridge fence,” said Mr Lander.

Despite the efforts of motorists and ambulance staff Mr Richmond was pronounced dead at 9.40am from multiple injuries consistent with hight speed impact.

Mr Lander told the jury that there were red warning bars with “slow” painted on the road, which has a 60mph limit, and ample distance after the warning sign to reduce speed before the bend.

A police expert calculated that Irish was traveling at at least 53 mph or possibly faster when he began to leave tyre marks and that the safe speed for negotiating the bend was no faster than 30mph.

Irish stopped immediately after the collision and rang the ambulance services and told them he had “skidded on the corner and hit a cyclist coming the other way.”

He said to a police officer at the scene, “where’s the blue car? It was pushing me and driving close to me so I went faster.”

Mr Lander said a witness had seen a blue Astra behind him but an expert claimed there was ample distance for Irish to have slowed down before the bend and the driver of that car stopped at the scene without colliding with Irish’s car.

When interviewed Irish said he had bought the Audi a week before and had set out that day for a driving range and was not in a hurry.

In the prepared statement he said the Astra behind appeared to be wanting to travel faster or overtake and as he approached the left hand bend he seemed to lose traction and veered slightly towards the middle of the road and there was a bang as the cyclist hit the front of his car.

In a later interview he claimed he had been significantly distracted by that other car, said Mr Lander.