A senior teaching assistant has been found not guilty of causing death by careless driving following a collision near Selby in which a biker died.
Charlotte Crawford, 27, from Selby, was driving a Ford Fiesta which turned right on the B1222 Bishopdyke Road at Biggin onto Scalm Lane into the path of Patrick Casey’s motorbike.
The two vehicles collided and Mr Casey – an off-duty officer from North Yorkshire Police – came off his vehicle. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Following a four-day trial at York Crown Court, Ms Crawford, was found not guilty of causing death by careless driving today (Friday).
During the emotionally proceedings, during which family members in the public gallery occasionally broke down in tears, prosecutor Andrew Finlay claimed that Ms Crawford should have seen Mr Casey’s motorbike travelling in the opposite direction as she pulled out of the junction into its path.
He conceded, however, that Mr Casey was travelling at a “considerable” speed, estimated at between 85mph and 117mph.
Mr Finlay added: “As Ms Crawford approached the Biggin crossroads she made to turn right onto Scalm Lane. She didn’t see Mr Casey’s motorbike coming in the opposite direction.
“As a result, she drove straight across his path and despite his attempts to avoid her, he was unable to do so and very sadly he was killed in that collision.”
Collision at the crossroads
The fatal crash occurred at about 12pm on July 18, 2021, when Mr Casey and a friend were riding out to meet friends at a bikers’ café in Sherburn. Other riders in their group had set off earlier for the café but Mr Casey had decided to wait for his friend who was setting off later.
The two friends set off down the B1222, with Mr Casey riding in front and his friend, who was named in court, riding behind him.
As they were approaching the Biggin crossroads, Ms Crawford, who was returning from a shopping trip to Leeds and whose brother was in the front passenger seat, was about to turn right into Scalm Lane.
Mr Finlay said Ms Crawford’s white Fiesta had slowed down at the junction but it didn’t come to a complete stop and there was a van in front of her which obscured her view of the oncoming motorbike.
Where the collision took place
“Video footage indicates that before she begins her turn, Mr Casey’s motorbike appears in her view before the turn begins and, despite the fact that the bike has appeared in her view, she turns right across the path of the bike,” he added.
“It would appear that the speed of Mr Casey’s driving has contributed to this accident.”
Ms Crawford, of Abbey Walk, Selby, told police she didn’t see the motorbike as she approached the crossroads. She said she turned right and the motorbike crashed into the side of her car.
The prosecution’s accident-investigation expert said that Ms Crawford’s not seeing the motorcycle contributed to the collision.
The defence expert said the main cause of the accident was the speed at which Mr Casey was riding and that no blame should be attached to Ms Crawford, who was cleared of any wrongdoing.