Court told of cars’ glancing blow ahead of fatal crash
SUFFOLK: A “glancing blow” between two cars shortly before a fatal crash in which a 16-year-old girl died led to the driver of one of the vehicles losing control and colliding with a road sign on the edge of the A14, a court has heard.
Police accident investigator Pc Jeff Cribb told a jury at Ipswich Crown Court that the contact between the front near side wheel of a Citroen Saxo driven by 20-year-old Perri Daniel and the driver’s door of an Audi A3 driven by 19-year-old Gavin Sahota had been “brief and relatively light”.
However, the ”glancing blow” had caused a braking effect on the front wheel of the Saxo which had affected the steering and resulted in Daniel losing control of the vehicle.
Pc Cribb said that at the time of the contact between the cars the Audi was approximately a bonnet length in front of the Saxo and the driver of the Saxo would have felt a “sudden jolt” as the front wheel of her car started to brake.
“It would have had a significant impact on the balance of the car,” said the officer.
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Daniel, of Upper Cavendish Street, Ipswich, and Sahota, of Stewart Young Grove, Kesgrave, have both denied causing the death of Sian Ryan, of Alan Road, Ipswich, by dangerous driving and causing death by careless driving on August 17 last year.
The court has heard that Sian, who was a passenger in Daniel’s Saxo, died after the vehicle “careered out of control” off the road and collided with a road sign at the edge of the carriageway.
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At the time of the accident, Daniel and Sahota had been driving back from a day out in Felixstowe and Steven Dyble, prosecuting, alleged they had been travelling in convoy, far too close to each other and at speed.
He said the vehicles were driven “badly by two young people frolicking and larking about”.
“It was an accident waiting to happen and tragically it did,” he said.
He claimed that shortly before the accident Sahota undertook Daniel in an “inherently dangerous” manoeuvre which resulted in his car “clipping” the Saxo.
Sahota managed to keep his vehicle on the road but Daniel had careered out of control and had struck a sign on the nearside of the carriageway. Sian had suffered multiple injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.
The court heard that the two defendants were blaming each other for causing Miss Ryan’s death. Daniel claimed that Sahota hit her vehicle which caused her to lose control while Sahota claimed he was concerned about Daniel’s car weaving from side to side and had driven alongside her to see what she was doing. He claimed the Saxo had then clipped his vehicle, causing Daniel to lose control and leave the carriageway.
Pc Cribb said he was unable to say which vehicle had moved towards the other and said he couldn’t exclude the possibility that both cars had moved towards each other.
He agreed with Sahota’s barrister Simon Spence that Sahota’s account of what happened was not inconsistent with his findings whereas parts of Daniel’s account were inconsistent.
The trial continues today.