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Witnesses saw Trimsaran biker Thomas Joseph James speeding before collision

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: December 04, 2012

Thomas Joseph James

FIVE witnesses have told a court how they saw a Trimsaran biker speeding just moments before he was killed in a fatal road collision near Pembroke.

Thomas Joseph James, of Garden Suburbs, died after his Kawasaki motorbike collided with a Land Rover on the A477 near Nash Fingerpost, Pembroke Dock, at 6.30am on Sunday, August 14, last year. He was 40.

Elizabeth Karen Wilson, 66, of Kingsbridge Drive, Pembroke, stands trial at Swansea Crown Court, accused of causing Mr James's death by careless driving.

Opening the trial, prosecutor Robin Rouch, told the court that Mr James had been driving along the A477 towards Pembroke Dock, while Wilson had been travelling along the A4075 towards its junction with the A477.

"It was the intention of Elizabeth Wilson to turn right at that point," said Mr Rouch, meaning she would be crossing the single carriageway.

"When the defendant performed this manoeuvre, her car collided with the near side of the motorcycle as it was travelling on the A477."

The court heard how the bike and Mr James then veered towards the central reservation and collided with it. Mr James sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Prosecution witnesses called during the first day of the trial included a friend and colleague of Mr James, Miles Blewitt, who would usually drive them both to work at the oil refinery in Pembroke Dock.

But the night before the incident, he had received a phone call from Mr James, who said he had seen the sunny weather forecast and "fancied a spin" on his bike to work the following day. Mr Blewitt saw Mr James on the road to work, and described him as driving "at a sensible speed" in front of him.

But during the journey, at 6.20am, Mr Blewitt had to pull into a petrol station near Llanteg, and lost sight of his friend, until he spotted the accident.

But other witnesses told how they'd seen a motorbike travelling around the area at the same time, which they could not identify due to the speed it was travelling at.

Jeanette Hill was travelling to the market in Carew that morning.

"I looked in my mirror and saw him coming behind me," said Mrs Hill, who then added that the next thing she knew, the bike was overtaking her.

"I'm not a fast driver, so I was driving about 50 to 55 mph," she said, but added that the bike "was definitely" exceeding the speed limit.

The court heard that days later, Mrs Hill told the police that Mr James would "not live that long if he carried on driving like that".

Andrew Parry Blaney, a health and safety advisor at Pembroke refinery, also told the court how he'd seen a bike exceed a 40 mph limit through the village of Milton, as did Christopher and Margaret Roberts, who had been travelling in the opposite direction to Mr James.

The trial continues.

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