Business owner killed 'in shunt' on A49 in Shropshire, court told

Shrewsbury | News | Published:

A man was killed after his car was shunted into the path of a van outside the entrance to his business, a court heard.

Sebastian Ward, 32, had been waiting to turn right on the A49 north of Shrewsbury when the crash happened.

He died instantly after his Ford Ka was struck from behind by a Vauxhall Movano driven by 41-year-old mechanic Carl Whitfield.

A jury at Shrewsbury Crown Court was told there was a 'catastrophic collision' between Mr Ward's car and another Vauxhall Movano van coming in the opposite direction.

The driver of the second van, George Woolley, had no chance of avoiding the crash and both he and his wife, a passenger in the van, suffered chest and rib injuries.

Whitfield, of St Peter's Close, Moreton-on-Lugg, Hereford, denies causing Mr Ward's death by careless driving on August 26, 2015.

Mr Ward, a father-of-one, of Chapel Lane, Wem, was returning to his business, Seb Ward Car Sales, when the accident happened at Acton Bridge on the A49 between Hadnall and Preston Brockhurst just after 3.15pm.

Mr Philip Beardwell, prosecuting, said the defendant had been carrying out repairs on the Vauxhall van and was on a test drive when the collision happened on a straight section of the road outside Mr Ward's business. Accident investigators said his car was at a slight angle and was indicating as he waited in the road to turn right.

Mr Beardwell said there was evidence of emergency braking by the defendant and both the Ford Ka and the other van were badly damaged and airbags deployed.


He said there was less damage to the defendant's vehicle and he suffered a broken bone in his hand and some cuts and bruising.

The only witnesses to the accident were those involved and police investigation revealed the impact was not at high speed.

The jury was told there would be expert technical evidence as the defendant claimed there was a defect in the van's turbo diesel engine – known as 'run away' or 'blow-by' – which made it run faster. The claim is disputed by the prosecution, the court heard.

The trial continues.

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