Late evening a man was driving his small hatchback motorcar along a rural road approaching a residential area and the start of a 30 mph speed restriction.
From his left, a group of youths unexpectedly ran into the road and directly in front of his vehicle. With quick reaction, he swerved around them, but a youth who was on the far side of the group and unsighted continued to run directly into the path of the car.
The driver applied emergency brake but a collision occurred and tragically the youth sustained fatal injuries. In shock, anger and the mistaken belief that the driver was responsible for the collision, the group of youths attacked the car driver and vandalised his vehicle.
Marks found on the road surface indicated that the front wheels of the car started skidding just before the impact and its initial speed was calculated at 42 mph.
The photographs show the car in its post impact position with the front wheels still positioned on the end of the skid marks. The damaged windscreen and horizontal surface of the bonnet are typical of a pedestrian impact and in this instance illustrates that the deceased was aligned near the vehicle's offside headlamp when he was struck, rotated onto the bonnet and his head impacted high on the windscreen.
The car driver was charged with the offence of causing death by dangerous driving. We were instructed to investigate the incident by lawyers acting for the defendant.
Our investigations and report showed the car was not driven at an excessive speed, could have comfortably reduced sufficient speed to pass the speed limit signs at 30 mph and the driver reacted quickly to the initial unexpected hazard.
During the trial, the driver was acquitted of the charge.
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