Vet braked like he 'had never braked before' in Shropshire death crash

Church Stretton | Crime | Published:

A vet accused of causing a woman’s death in a four-car accident 'braked like [he] had never braked before' to try and avoid a car parked in the road with no lights on, he told a court.

Stephen Lomax, 62, was travelling along the A49 at Affcot, near Church Stretton, on January 14 last year when his Saab hit the back right side of a stationary Skoda Fabia before hitting a Ford Fiesta on the opposite side of the road, Shrewsbury Crown Court heard.

Carol Pearson, who was in the front of the Fiesta, was trapped in the wreckage and died in hospital of multiple injuries three days later, her husband Clive said. Yesterday, Lomax gave evidence and said that he started braking as soon as he realised the Fabia was stationary.

Under cross-examination from prosecuting barrister Nicolas Smith, he said: “As soon as I recognised that it was there I braked like I had never braked before in my life. I remember thinking, ‘no lights, no brake lights, no indicators, what is it doing?’. I was totally focused on braking with all my might.

“All I was looking at was what I now know was a Skoda.”

Lomax added he had relived the events several times a day ever since.

Independent forensic collision investigator David Loat, under cross-examination from defence barrister Nicholas Syfret QC, said because of the nature of the road, around a corner and on a downhill stretch, and the fact the Fabia did not have any lights on, the time Lomax took to perceive and react to the danger could reasonably be longer than usual.

Prosecuting barrister Nicolas Smith put it to Mr Loat: “There is an explanation for why [it happened], and that is Mr Lomax was not concentrating.”

Mr Loat replied: “Equally, he could have been subject to a ‘looming’ effect because we know there were no lights illuminating on the Fabia.”

Lomax, of Beresford, Presteigne, Powys, denies the offence of causing death by careless driving.

The trial continues at Shrewsbury Crown Court.

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