Death crash lorry driver had laptop open

A LORRY driver who collided with a cyclist on a busy dual carriageway, killing him instantly, had a laptop computer open in his cab, an inquest heard.The hearing, held at Chelmsford's County Hall, was told that Laszlo Bernath, 48, from Hungary, died after being hit by a Mercedes lorry driven by Henryk Michalowski who lives in Ipswich.

A LORRY driver who collided with a cyclist on a busy dual carriageway, killing him instantly, had a laptop computer open in his cab, an inquest heard.

The hearing, held at Chelmsford's County Hall, was told that Laszlo Bernath, 48, from Hungary, died after being hit by a Mercedes lorry driven by Henryk Michalowski who lives in Ipswich.

Mr Bernath was travelling on the London-bound carriageway of the A12 on September 10 when he was in collision with the lorry.

The accident happened near Kelvedon at just after 7am and caused major delays for motorists as the emergency services cleared and examined the scene.


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Essex Coroner Caroline Beasley-Murray who recorded that Mr Bernath died as the result of an accident, heard evidence from two motorists who were travelling behind the vehicles on the morning in question as well as an Essex Police accident investigator.

Polish national Mr Michalowski, 38, who lives in Ipswich, spoke through an interpreter.

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He declined to give evidence yesterday and will appear before magistrates in Colchester later this month to answer a charge of careless driving.

Paul Owens, who was driving his Citroen van behind the lorry, told the court that he was aware of the bicycle travelling along the road ahead.

He told the hearing: “I could see the cyclist because that part of the road was downhill and there was a bend. I thought it was very unusual to see a cyclist on the A12.

“It came to my turn to overtake the lorry and I came to the outside lane and hung back to allow the lorry to swing out to avoid the cyclist - but he didn't swing out.”

He said that the next thing he saw was pieces of plastic coming from the front of the lorry, which was braking by that point.

The inquest also heard from Pc Duncan Thurlwell, a traffic investigator based in Boreham who said there were no defects with the lorry but a laptop was open in the cab at the time of the crash.

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