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Accused in fatal crash case 'was a careful driver'

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: December 05, 2012

A CARER accused of causing death by careless driving has described herself as a "very careful and experienced driver".

Swansea Crown Court heard evidence from two police officers on the second day of the trial of Elizabeth Karen Wilson, who is accused of causing the death of 40-year-old Thomas Joseph James, by careless driving.

Wilson, 66, of Kingsbridge Drive, Pembroke, also gave evidence as the defence case began.

Mr James, known as Joe, died on the A477 near Pembroke, on August 14 2011.

PC Dafydd Burge, officer in charge of the investigation, read a transcript of Wilson's police interview to the court with prosecutor Robin Rouch, during which it was revealed that Wilson was also licensed to drive motorbikes, minibuses and coaches.

Dyfed Powys collision investigation officer, PC Ian Pathak, told the court he was unable to determine the speed Mr James was going at the time of the collision.

During police interview, Wilson had told officers that she saw what she thought was a car in the very far distance as she approached the junction of the A4075 with the A477, but as she got closer she did not see any vehicle.

But during the defence case, she told the jury she had not seen any vehicle before she pulled from the junction, which she described as approaching "at a snail's pace".

"The next thing I there was a bang, no jolt as such, the airbags went off, which disorientated me, because I had never been in a vehicle when the air bags had gone off before.

"I took my foot off the accelerator, but I was aware I was still rolling forward.

"I checked there was nothing coming, and drove across the road to park on the verge."

She then got out of the car, and saw Mr James lying in the road, after which she dialled 999. When asked if she could turn time back, if she would in fact get in the car that morning, she replied: "No."

In cross examination, Robin Rouch, prosecuting, questioned if Wilson should have stopped at the junction, rather that proceed to it at a very slow speed.

Robin Rouch and defence solicitor Malcolm Galloway, gave their closing speeches to the jury. Judge Michael Burr is due to sum up today.

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