Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Man goes on trial for causing pensioner's death by dangerous driving on A66

The scene of the crash on the A66 in 2016 Photo: ITV Border

A man accused of causing a pensioner's death in a "horrific" head-on A66 smash by driving dangerously has gone on trial.

82-year-old David Bennell was making a five-minute road trip home, to Braithwaite, near Keswick, when a collision occurred on April 29 last year. This involved his westbound Toyota Avensis and an oncoming Volkswagen Bora driven by Calum Wilkinson.

Both drivers were hurt. Mr Bennell suffered multiple injuries and was airlifted to hospital in Newcastle, but died on 1 May.

David Bennell's family say he was still "extremely active". Credit: Cumbria Police

What is disputed by the defendant is the standard of driving. He admits that it was careless. He takes issue that it was dangerous.

– Richard Haworth, Prosecutor

At Carlisle Crown Court today, Monday 26 June, a jury heard 25-year-old Wilkinson, has admitted causing Mr Bennell's death by careless driving - but he denies doing so dangerously.

Opening the case, prosecutor Richard Haworth told jurors Mr Bennell was "without blame". Mr Haworth alleged Wilkinson, of Eaigle Terrace, Main Road in Flimby, had crossed into the path of the pensioner's vehicle while overtaking immediately before the "horrific" collision.

"The issue here is whether it (the manoeuvre) was dangerous," said Mr Haworth. "What is disputed by the defendant is the standard of driving. "He admits that it was careless. He takes issue that it was dangerous."

The trial continues.