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Driver Melanie Last denies causing death by careless driving of William Plewman, 78, on A146 near Thurton

PUBLISHED: 14:51 20 March 2017 | UPDATED: 13:12 22 March 2017

The courts in Norwich. Picture: Adrian Judd.

The courts in Norwich. Picture: Adrian Judd.

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A “momentary lapse” caused a driver to drift onto the wrong side of the road and kill a 78-year-old man in a collision, a court heard.

Melanie Last, 50, is accused of causing the death by careless driving of William Plewman in a three-car crash on the A146 near Thurton.

Norwich Crown Court heard Last, of Burlingham Drive, Carlton Colville, was driving a black BMW towards Norwich before the collision, which left her and two other drivers with serious injuries.

Mazda pick-up driver Mr Plewman received serious internal injuries from which he later died, after the crash caused his truck to spin round in the road, flip over and end up in a ditch.

Last has denied causing death by careless driving of Mr Plewman on June 29, 2015.

In his opening to the jury, Philip Farr, prosecuting, said it was a “tragic accident” and alleged it was a “momentary lapse” by Last which caused the crash.

“The conclusion that has been reached is that immediately prior to the collision the defendant’s car left her carriageway onto the onbound carriageway.

“The prosecution say that the evidence points to the cause of the crash being a momentary lapse by the defendant.”

He alleged the “brief period of inattention” meant her driving fell far below the standard required of a “careful and competent” driver.

Mr Farr said: “Without that lapse we say the accident would not have occurred.”

He said the prosecution had to prove that it was the “substandard” driving by Last which caused the accident.

Mr Farr said Mr Plewman was driving towards Loddon when Last drifted into his lane and despite Mr Plewman making an effort to avoid a collision the defendant’s car hit the rear driver’s side of Mr Plewman’s truck causing it to spin and then flip over, before ending up in a ditch.

Mr Farr said Mr Plewman suffered significant internal bleeding and that resulted ultimately in his death.

He said Last was injured along with the driver of a Vauxhall Mokka, which ended up being struck head-on by the BMW.

He said Last was interviewed about the crash, in September 2015, and she was unable to recall what happened and could not remember whether she had remained on the correct side of the road or not.

The trial continues.

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