Cumbria

HGV driver denies causing fatal head-on smash

Maureen Smith Image copyright Family handout
Image caption Following her death, Maureen Smith's family said they would treasure every memory of her

A lorry driver who was in a fatal head-on smash with a pensioner was "distracted" in the moments before the crash, a court heard.

Maureen Smith, 86, of Brampton, Cumbria, died when her Ford Panda was struck by Jaroslaw Mieczan's HGV near Carlisle on November 16.

At the city's crown court, prosecutors alleged Mr Mieczan "didn't pay attention".

The 44-year-old Polish national denies causing death by dangerous driving.

'No blame' for victim

Prosecutor Kim Whittleston said great-grandmother Ms Smith's driving was "impeccable".

"No blame can be directed at her when considering how the accident was caused," Ms Whittleston told jurors.

"She was struck head-on as the HGV, driven by this defendant, steered directly into her path, leaving her no time to react or take evasive action."

The court was told Mr Mieczan was travelling behind a Ford Fiesta on the A689 which braked and indicated to make a right turn towards Irthington at about 15:10 GMT.

The lorry driver was then said to have swerved into the path of Ms Smith's Panda.

Miss Whittlestone said Mr Mieczan was "distracted", "didn't pay attention" to the Fiesta and "failed to realise until it was too late" that it was stationary on a "clear straight road".

When questioned by police, Mr Mieczan, from Molodiatycze, Trzeszczany, said the Fiesta driver had "stopped suddenly".

The trial continues.

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