'Lapse in concentration' led to crash

A “LAPSE in concentration” by a motorist caused a horrific crash which claimed the life of a motorcyclist and that of his girlfriend's unborn baby.A court heard yesterday how Trevor Malone attempted a U-turn after driving past the entrance to Funderworld theme park on the Avenue of Remembrance.

James Hore

A “LAPSE in concentration” by a motorist caused a horrific crash which claimed the life of a motorcyclist and that of his girlfriend's unborn baby.

A court heard yesterday how Trevor Malone attempted a U-turn after driving past the entrance to Funderworld theme park on the Avenue of Remembrance.

But the 42-year-old failed to see Ian Adams' Honda Fireblade motorbike which was heading out of Colchester on a charity bike ride.

Mr Adams, 26, and his girlfriend, Carla Edwards, were thrown from the bike and both suffered serious injuries in the accident.

The pair were rushed to Colchester General Hospital but Mr Adams, a train conductor from Colchester, died later the same day.

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Miss Edwards, who was six months pregnant, pulled through, but her unborn baby, to be called Bradley, died.

Father-of-two Malone pleaded guilty to careless driving at Colchester Magistrates' Court yesterday.

The unemployed bar manager from King's Head Street, Harwich, was banned from driving for 18 months and fined £2,000 and ordered to pay £200 costs.

Magistrates told Malone it was a “sad and tragic case” but that it was not within their sentencing powers to jail him.

Speaking afterwards, Miss Edwards, who lives in Great Tey, near Colchester, said: “I feel satisfied with the disqualification, I did not realise it would be so much.

“As for the fine, I have no views about that, nothing would be enough - but I am quite happy with the disqualification.”

The 30-year-old is now back working part time for Essex County Council with special needs children.

Her dad, Ken Edwards, from Braintree, said it had been 50/50 whether his daughter would survive after the accident, which happened at about 10.20am on September 16 last year.

“I am a chauffeur and drive 90,000 miles a year and in my opinion I fail to see how this was not dangerous driving,” he said.

Mr Adams' family, from Stratford, London, said he was the kind of person who could “light up a room” when he walked in.

His mother, Sylvia Adams, said: “This is the end of it for us and we can now put Ian to rest.

“Nothing can bring him or Bradley back, but I don't know that justice has been done.

“He was a lovely son, lovely brother, lovely partner and he would have been a great dad.”

David Bryant, prosecuting, had told the packed courtroom it was a “tragic case”.

He told the court signs instructed drivers not to turn right into the theme park, but to go up to a roundabout, come back and turn left.

But Malone did not see the warning and pulled into a lay-by before attempting the manoeuvre and failed to see the motorbike.

“The collision occurred because Mr Malone tried to carry out a u-turn,” he said.

During police interviews, Malone said he thought there was enough room, looked behind before pulling out, but did not see the bike.

He said there was no evidence of alcohol or drugs in Mr Adams' blood and he had been well within the speed limit on the 60mph stretch of road.

Mitigating, David Davies, said: “It matters not what I say today because this is a tragic case and involves the loss of two lives.

“It is a very emotive case and one that will live with Mr Malone for the rest of his life.”

He said there had been contradictory witness reports about the incident, but said his client wanted to plead guilty to ensure the case was not dragged out for Mr Adams' family.

“He holds himself to blame for two features - one, not seeing the rider and, two, that he did not see the sign that directed to go up to the roundabout and back down.”

Mr Davies said: “All he can do is give his heartfelt apologies for, as far as he was concerned, a lapse in concentration, which in normal circumstances, would not have had the same consequences.”

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