Diss man goes on trial for causing death by careless driving

Andrew Oakley's Mum Rachel and Sister Charlotte hold a picture of Andrew. Photograph Simon Parker Andrew Oakley's Mum Rachel and Sister Charlotte hold a picture of Andrew. Photograph Simon Parker

Peter Walsh peter.walsh@archant.co.uk
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
10:54 AM

The driver of a van in which a teenage passenger died said he did “everything I could to stop” after a tipper truck “cut straight across my path” a court has heard.

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Sixteen year old Andrew Oakley died following a crash on the B1077 at Winfarthing, near Diss, on December 29 last year.

Mr Oakley was a passenger in the rear of a Renault Kangoo van which was involved in a crash with a transit tipper truck at about 3.40pm.

Jason Shaw, the driver of the truck, appeared at Norwich Crown Court yesterday for the start of his trial after he pleaded not guilty to causing death by careless driving.

Chris Youell, prosecuting, said the case was primarily about the “standard of driving” of the Shaw, 28, of Shelfanger Road, Diss, which he described as falling below “the standard of a reasonable, competent and proven driver”.

The court heard the vehicle containing Mr Oakley was travelling along the B1077 towards Diss while the tipper, which was heading in the opposite direction, was making a right turn at the point of the collision.

Mr Youell said: “He (Shaw) should’ve been able to see the vehicle coming towards him and If he couldn’t he shouldn’t have made the turn.”

Bradley Tennens, driver of the Kangoo van said he was driving to Diss with his pregnant girlfriend in the front and the victim and another friend in the rear. The jury of seven men and five women heard that none of the passengers were wearing seatbelts and that Mr Tennens has since pleaded guilty to carrying passengers unsafely at the magistrates court.

Mr Tennens said he was driving at about 48mph on the 60mph road when he became aware of a horse box but had not been aware of the tipper truck until it “came out behind the horse trailer” and “cut straight across my path”. He said he “slammed” on the brakes, “did everything I could to stop”.

He also pulled on his handbrake and tried to steer away but lost control of the van which spun and hit the truck.

Jonathan Goodman, defending, said he had “sufficient time” to come to a “normal controlled stop” but went into a panic and pulled on the handbrake which put the vehicle out of control.

Mr Tennens said: “I wouldn’t have been able to do a controlled stop because I was too close to the truck.”

The trial continues.

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