Bus driver on trial over cyclist death

Preston Crown Court
Preston Crown Court
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A bus driver has gone on trial accused of causing the death of a cyclist who collided with his bus.

Brian Davies, of Blea Tarn Place, Morecambe, was driving the number 81 Stagecoach bus on North Road in Lancaster city centre when it collided with pensioner Joan Behar on March 4, 2014.

Mrs Behar, 67, from Lancaster, died from her injuries in the Royal Preston Hospital three days after the accident.

Davies, 50, pleaded not guilty to causing death by careless driving when he appeared at the first day of his trial at Preston Crown Court on Tuesday.

The 12-strong jury heard evidence from several witnesses who saw the accident take place around 3.30pm.

Eye witness Anthony Taylor said he believed Mrs Behar was ‘trying to beat the bus’ as she tried to cross from the pavement near Rosemary House over to the side of Simply Baby.

He said: “I don’t think the bus driver must have seen the cyclist but I wasn’t looking at the bus driver.

“I don’t think the cyclist knew how close the bus was.

“She was trying to beat the bus over the road.” Two members of staff from glass-fronted shop Simply Baby also gave evidence.

Rebecca Hallet was working as a shop assistant at the time of the accident and was doing paperwork with supervisor Georgina Hullan.

She said the black bike with a black basket was pushed along by the bus for around three to four metres before it stopped.

She said: “We heard a bang.

“I went to look out of the window

“You could see that the bike was underneath the front of the bus.”

Georgina, who was 27 at the time, told the police in a statement – which was read aloud in part by defence barrister Anthony Cross QC – that she saw the cyclist with one foot on a pedal and one on the ground as if she was about to push off.

She told the court she looked away and a second later she heard the noise of the collision.

She said: “She was on the pavement opposite the shop. She was on the bike with one foot on the ground.

“A split second later I heard a loud bang.”

(Proceeding)