Accused driver denies all knowledge of fatal motorbike crash
A DRIVER has told a jury he drove correctly on the night of a fatal crash near Southmead.
Leroy Hawthorne-Brown, of Victoria Avenue, Redfield, denies causing death by careless driving in November 2011.
The prosecution claims the Nissan Almera GTi driver was overtaking erratically before he pulled out into the path of motorcyclist Marcus Wideson, who was heading the same way in the right hand lane of southbound Falcondale Road.
Hawthorne-Brown told Bristol Crown Court: "As far as I'm aware I was doing the checks I had been taught to do in driving. That's all I can say."
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The jury has heard that 27-year-old Mr Wideson braked hard and was thrown from his 600cc Honda Hornet bike, which was estimated to have been travelling at a minimum of 40mph. He was thrown across the road and hit by an oncoming Nissan Micra, suffering fatal injuries.
Accident investigators for both prosecution and defence found no evidence of contact between the Almera and the bike.
Paul Riley, an expert called by the defence, said Hawthorne-Brown would have been able to see 110 metres behind in his mirrors and would have taken less than two seconds to pull out.
Had the bike been travelling at 40mph, he said, it would have taken 6.15 seconds to cover 110 metres.
At 70mph it would have taken 3.5 seconds to cover the same distance.
Hawthorne-Brown, also 27, said he was with his grandmother, Beryl Brown, returning from his daughter's first birthday party at Jump play centre in Cribbs Causeway.
He said he drove more considerately as he had his gran with him, and had he overtaken cars he would have been "normal and safe".
Hawthorne-Brown said on Falcon- dale Road there was a slow driver in front and, as there was nothing in the right-hand lane, he decided to overtake. He said he checked his mirrors, considered it safe, indicated and began to move out but when he checked his wing mirror again, he said, he saw a light or lights coming behind him "pretty quick".
He told the jury: "I applied the brakes, cancelled the indicators and returned to my original position in my lane. It took maybe two seconds to manoeuvre right. It took one or two seconds to manoeuvre left.
"I carried on straight down the road. I don't have recollection of the car in front of me pulling over."
Hawthorne-Brown said there was no collision, he heard no collision and he didn't see a motorbike pass by him on its side.
Mrs Brown, 74, said her grandson's driving had been safe and she was not aware of any incident.
She told the jury the reason he aborted the lane change was to avoid a car which was coming towards them, straying into their lane.
The case continues.