Jury retires in racer's driving trial

A JURY in the trial of a former stock car racer, accused of driving into a lorry at 110 miles per hour, today retired to decide its verdict. Paul Hoey, 30, of Bramford Road, Ipswich denied a charge of dangerous driving when his sports car collided with a lorry on the A14.

A JURY in the trial of a former stock car racer, accused of driving into a lorry at 110 miles per hour, today retired to decide its verdict.

Paul Hoey, 30, of Bramford Road, Ipswich denied a charge of dangerous driving when his sports car collided with a lorry on the A14.

Hoey was trapped in his two door Pontiac Transdasham after the collision and the roof had to be cut off so that he could be released by the emergency services.

The court heard that he had been driving in the near side lane of the A14 at Wherstead heading towards Felixstowe at 2.00pm on August 22 last year.

Robert Sadd, prosecuting told the court that a lorry had been in the near side lane and was being overtaken lawfully by a Nissan car. Mr Sadd alleged that Hoey tried to go between the two vehicles but crashed into the back of the lorry.

Hoey had been a stock car racer before retiring six years ago and he was the only person to be hurt in the accident and suffered head injuries. Summing up the case Mr Sadd told the jury of seven men and five women, "How is it with no mechanical difficulties on a clear day that he managed to crash his car into the back of a lorry with such force? It was not just a shunt, it had an impact of considerable force. More than one independent reliable witness said Hoey was driving at an astonishing speed and he tried to create a third lane when there was not one. His driving at that point fell far below the standard of a reasonable, capable driver and it was dangerous."

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Hannah Willcocks, defending, said "Mr Hoey has a clean licence and his car is worth a lot to him. He did race in the past and if he wants to race his car, he knows where to go. Is he likely to do this on his way to work? There is no reason why he should do that and why on earth would he want to risk writing off his car? Many people speed but speeding does not necessarily mean it is careless."

The trial continues.

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