A van driver could have avoided colliding with a Shropshire soldier and his dog if he had adjusted his speed to suit the weather conditions, a jury has been told.
Mr Phillip Beardwell, prosecuting, told Shrewsbury Crown Court that Mark Fisher should have slowed down once his windscreeen misted up and the sun started obscuring his view while he was driving along a country lane near Telford on the morning of July 11 last year.
Fisher, 48, of Horne Road in Donnington, Telford, denies causing death by careless driving of Sergeant Steven Smith, who was jogging with his dog at the time of the incident.
Sergeant Smith, 35 and also of Donnington, died from his injuries after the crash near The Humbers off the A518.
Addressing the court yesterday, Mr Beardwell said: “You (Fisher) could have stopped or slowed down but you failed to do either of these.
“Your visibility was getting worse but instead of slowing down or stopping or changing your route you sped up.”
But Fisher said that he felt he was driving in an appropriate way at between 35mph and 40mph.
“I didn’t feel the need to stop,” he said. “I was going at the right speed for the weather conditions.”
Fisher said he had not seen Sergeant Smith. He said he had been driving sensibly at the time of the collision. Mr Beardwell said that items on Fisher’s dashboard, including a toolbox and a high visibility jacket, could have blocked the hot air coming from the air vents of the van.
He said: “They were in between the air blowers and the windscreen and were impeding on the jet of air.”
But Fisher said: “They didn’t seem to affect the blowers.”
Mr Beardwell said that Fisher had concentrated too much on another vehicle coming in the opposite direction.
But Mr Fisher said he was still paying attention to the whole road.
The jury will retire to consider its verdict on Monday.