‘I shut my eyes in fear of my life’, court told

Reporter:

Robert Platt

A SALESMAN has told a court there was “nothing more” he could have done to prevent a car crash which killed an elderly Flintshire couple.

Martin Dyer, 53, of Stonehouse in south Lanarkshire, Scotland, said he had no time to fully stop his car and could only plough straight on to “prevent causing any more carnage”.

Emlyn Coulson, 86, and his wife Dorothy, 83, were both killed as a result of a three-vehicle accident on the M6 at about 9pm on April 7, 2009.

Dyer, a salesman, denies two counts of causing death by careless driving.

Jurors at Warrington Crown Court yesterday were told the injuries suffered by the couple from of Lower Aston Hall Lane, Hawarden, were consistent with the impact caused by Dyer’s black BMW 525.

Less than a minute before, the couple’s Peugeot Partner van had collided with a Mitsubishi Space leaving the pair, who were soon to celebrate their 65th anniversary, facing the wrong way on the motorway.

Prosecutor David Potter said: “The pathological findings were in keeping with a severe force. It confirmed the secondary collision could account for all injuries sustained by both Mr and Mrs Coulson.”

Mr Potter added investigators found all three vehicles were in serviceable condition and “nothing could have malfunctioned” before the accidents.

In a police interview read out to the court, Dyer said he saw other cars braking and knew something was wrong but decided to overtake a lorry which was alongside him.

He had told officers he was going close to 80mph when he passed the lorry and then he saw the Peugeot stopped in the middle of the road directly in front of him.

By that time it was too late to stop.

Dyer, who was also being cross-examined by defender Oliver Jarvis, said he could not turn into another lane because he feared he would cause more carnage.

He said: “I got by a lorry and it cleared. Then 30 yards in front of me was a van parked side-on.

“I thought I am going to cause carnage if I move to another lane. I could not turn onto the second lane because of oncoming traffic and I could not slow down in time, so I shut my eyes in fear of my life.

“I did not know if I was going to see my wife and kids again.”

He added: “I did not see any heads in the car so I thought everyone was out, I prayed no-one was in there.

“After I crashed, I got out and staggered to the side of the road. I was shaking and other drivers were telling me there was nothing more I could have done.”

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.

The case is expected to last for the rest of the week.

(Proceeding)

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