Driver in court over crash which killed 'good friend'

Charlotte Oakes was killed following a crash on the A12 at Frostenden Picture: SUPPLIES BY SUFFOLK C

Charlotte Oakes was killed following a crash on the A12 at Frostenden Picture: SUPPLIES BY SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY - Credit: Archant

A 22-year-old Suffolk woman died after a car driven by her “good friend” veered on to the wrong side of the A12 after coming out of a bend and collided with an oncoming vehicle, a court has heard.

Charlotte Oakes, from Saxmundham, who was a front seat passenger in her friend Chelcie Lavery’s Peugeot, suffered “catastrophic” injuries in the collision in October 2018 and died at the scene, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

Following the crash, which happened on the A12 at Frostenden near the junction with Gypsy Lane, the Peugeot ended up in a field 10m away from the road, the court was told.

Marc Brown, prosecuting, said that on the afternoon of the collision Lavery had picked up her “good friend” Miss Oakes and they had visited McDonald’s in Lowestoft.

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They had been on their way to the Eels Foot Inn travelling southbound along the A12  when for some reason the Peugeot travelled into the oncoming lane as it came out of a bend and collided with an Isuzu D-max pick-up truck.

Mr Brown said that a thorough investigation was carried out into the collision and no mechanical defect was found on the Peugeot and there were no environmental factors that could have caused it.

He said there was no obvious reason for the collision and the investigator concluded that perhaps due to inexperience the collision had been caused by a loss of control as the Peugeot went round a bend or inappropriate speed.

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“If there was a loss of control or inappropriate steering input that caused the vehicle to be in the wrong carriageway it would amount to careless driving,” said Mr Brown.

Lavery, 24, of High Street, Leiston, has denied causing Miss Oakes’ death by careless driving.

Lavery suffered extensive injuries in the collision and later told police she had no recollection of the crash.

She said she had been driving for a couple of years and had owned the Peugeot for three or four months

She said that just the last thing she recalled  before the collision was the car pulling to the left and trying to correct it.

She thought she had been travelling at 40-50mph.

The trial, which is expected to last the rest of this week, continues.

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