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Fatal A66 crash driver on trial disputes his driving was dangerous

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

A motorist who caused the death of a pensioner has told a jury: "I will carry that with me for the rest of my life."

25-year-old Calum Wilkinson is on trial at Carlisle Crown Court. He admits causing the death of 82-year-old David Bennell by careless driving on April 29 last year. However, Wilkinson denies his driving was dangerous.

Jurors have heard that Mr Bennell died in Newcastle Royal Victoria Infirmary two days after a "horrific" head-on collision. This occurred on the A66 close to his home at Braithwaite, near Keswick.

The pensioner's westbound Toyota Avensis was struck by Wilkinson's oncoming Volkswagen Bora which was "entirely" on Mr Bennell's side of the road.

I can only base my plea on what I have seen in terms of the evidence presented to me, and I can only comment and say that (it was) a mistake possibly made on my part that resulted sadly in the death of Mr Bennell.

I will carry that with me for the rest of my life.

– Calum Wilkinson

Giving evidence today, Tuesday 27 June, Wilkinson said he couldn't recall the crash. His first memory was his family arriving at hospital, where he spent six days.

"I can only base my plea on what I have seen in terms of the evidence presented to me," he told the court, "and I can only comment and say that (it was) a mistake possibly made on my part that resulted sadly in the death of Mr Bennell.

"I will carry that with me for the rest of my life."

But Wilkinson, of Eaigle Terrace, Main Road, Flimby, insisted: "As regards to it being dangerous I would dispute that."

The trial continues.