Driver denies causing elderly Flintshire couple’s death

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A MOTORIST from Scotland has denied reckless driving resulting in the deaths of an elderly Flintshire couple.


Martin Dyer, 53, pleaded not guilty yesterday to two counts of causing death by careless driving on the M6 near Warrington at about 9pm on April 7, 2009.


A jury at Warrington Crown Court was given details of a three-vehicle crash.


Emlyn Coulson, 86, and his wife Dorothy, 83, from Hawarden, who were driving in a silver Peugeot Partner van, collided with another car, a Mitsubishi Space.


The force of the impact spun both vehicles out of control, leaving the pensioners, who were soon to celebrate their 65th wedding anniversary, facing the wrong way on the motorway.


Less than 28 seconds later the couple’s vehicle was struck by a black BMW 525 being driven by Dyer.


The crash between junction 21 and 20 of the southbound carriageway left Mr and Mrs Coulson with severe injuries and when paramedics arrived they were pronounced dead at the scene.


In his opening statement prosecutor David Potter said Dyer should have realised something was wrong when other drivers began slowing down, and from debris littering the road.


He said: ”The driving conditions at that time were excellent. Traffic was flowing, the stretch of road was well-lit, the weather was dry.


“Mr Dyer was driving a BMW at a speed between 70mph and 80mph. His BMW was perfectly serviceable.


“Despite these conditions the defendant failed to see that the lane ahead of him was blocked as a result of an accident not a minute earlier.”


Mr Potter added Dyer reacted too late when he finally realised the couple’s van was in front of him, leaving him “at best” two seconds to react.


“Mr Dyer hit the car at 50mph to 63mph. Mr and Mrs Coulson both died at the scene as a result of mulitiple injuries.


“The fact is Mr Dyer did not see the Peugeot until it was far too late. The maximum time he was braking was between half a second and two seconds, at most two seconds before he collided with it.”


Dyer, said Mr Potter, had been “oblivious” to the destruction on the road ahead of him. “Other road users were perfectly about to see and react to the accident.”


Tina Boles told the court she had been close to the scene of the accident. Debris littered the road and she saw what appeared to be an “abandoned car”.


“By the central reservation I saw what appeared to be a car that someone had turned the lights off and just walked away,” she said.


“I could see debris on the road in front of me which made sense to me what it was.”


She added as she managed to manoeuvre through the debris she could see the second collision in her wing mirror as it took place.


The court also heard from witness Philip Carter, a heavy goods vehicle driver travelling on the M6 at the time. He told the court he pulled over to help the victims of the first accident.


He first approached a 61-year old woman who was driving the Mitsubishi, when they both heard a loud explosion from the second crash.


The jury of five men and seven women is expected to hear from several more key witnesses during the trial which is expected to last the rest of the week.


(Proceeding)

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