Death crash could have been avoided

A TRIPLE fatal road crash could have been avoided if a lorry driver had not been speeding, it was claimed.Steven Williams had been driving an articulated lorry at up to 58mph along the A144 between Bungay and Halesworth, which has a 40mph speed limit for lorries, Ipswich Crown Court heard yesterday.

A TRIPLE fatal road crash could have been avoided if a lorry driver had not been speeding, it was claimed.

Steven Williams had been driving an articulated lorry at up to 58mph along the A144 between Bungay and Halesworth, which has a 40mph speed limit for lorries, Ipswich Crown Court heard yesterday.

Williams had driven into the back of a Toyota Starlet car that had stopped in the road in front of him to make a right turn.

Ruper Overbury, prosecuting, said Williams had then ploughed into a silver Honda Accord car that was travelling in the opposite direction.

The three occupants of the Honda – Ivan and Pamela Jeffery and Mrs Jeffery's mother, Constance Rome, all from Downham Market, Norfolk – died in the accident.

Williams, 34, of Jenkins Green, Lowestoft, has denied three charges of causing death by dangerous driving on July 10 last year.

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Mr Overbury said the accident had happened on the A144 at Ilketshall St Lawrence at about 4pm as Williams had been driving a Terry Seaman Transport articulated lorry pulling an empty grain tipper body.

He added although cars were allowed to travel at 60mph on the road, there was a 40mph speed limit for lorries, which Williams should have been aware of.

Mr Overbury said prior to the accident Williams had been driving at 54mph and had earlier reached up to 58mph.

He added if the lorry had only been travelling at 40mph, it would have been able to stop in time and the accident would not have happened.

Mr Overbury said Susan Lewis, the driver of the Toyota Starlet, had been travelling along the A144 from Bungay towards Halesworth in front of Williams' lorry and had indicated her intention to turn right and had slowed down.

"She noticed that the distance between her and the lorry had decreased considerably. Her immediate thought was that the lorry was going to hit her," he added.

The car containing the Jefferys and Mrs Rome had been travelling in the opposite direction towards Bungay and had been hit head-on as the lorry skidded across the road after hitting the Toyota.

After the accident Williams told police that he had remembered seeing some faint brake lights ahead of him as he had rounded a bend.

He added the lights had been "quite dim" and his view of them could have been adversely affected by the bright afternoon sunshine.

Williams told officers that after hitting the brake pedal of his lorry, he had held on to the steering wheel "for dear life" before the collision.

The lorry driver said he had not been in a particular rush, but admitted he had been driving over the speed limit for trucks.

Mr Overbury said Williams had failed to see Mrs Lewis' car stop in front of him and may not have been concentrating on the road in front of him.

The court heard that since the accident the word "Slow" had been painted in the road before the spot where the accident took place.

The trial continues today.

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