Driver cleared of motorcyclist death
10:00am Sunday 16th December 2012 in County News
A Pembroke woman has been found not guilty of causing the death of a motorcycle rider who could have been travelling at more than 100mph when he collided with her car.
Elizabeth Karen Wilson, aged 66, of Kingsbridge Drive, admitted pulling out of a road junction into the path of Thomas Joseph James on August 14th, 2011.
But she denied causing death by careless driving and was cleared by a jury at Swansea crown court.
Mr James was riding a Kawasaki ZX Ninja motorbike, said to be one of the most powerful production bikes in the world with a top speed of 185mph.
As he approached a point known as Nash Fingerpost junction on the A477 at 6.30am, Wilson, who was heading to a car boot sale, pulled out of the A4075 to turn right, crossing his carriageway.
Mrs Wilson, a former teacher, said she looked to her right but did not see Mr James approaching.
The jury heard from witnesses who had been overtaken by Mr James on the A477. One estimated his speed at 100mph.
A short while later Mr James collided with the front of Wilson’s Land Rover Discovery.
Malcolm Galloway, the barrister representing Mrs Wilson, described the A477 as a “dream road” for someone who wanted to ride a motorbike at high speed.
Robin Rouch, prosecuting, had said that even if Mr James had been speeding he would have been visible from the junction for a minimum of 178 metres. If he had been travelling at between 60mph and 100mph, he would have been visible for between 6.4 seconds and 3.9 seconds.
Mrs Wilson described approaching the junction at a slow speed. She could not see any vehicles coming and began to turn, and the next thing she knew the air bags inside her vehicle had inflated.