Motorist killed by falling lamppost

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Motorist killed by falling lamppost

A motorist from Eastbourne, east Sussex has died after a lamppost fell onto his vehicle, smashing through the windscreen and causing fatal head injuries.

The lamppost became dislodged after a second motorist lost control of his fruit and veg van, rolling into the central reservation and hitting the lamppost that subsequently killed the unwitting driver.

Barry Edwards, 58, of Worcester Road, Crawley denies causing Colin Booth's death by careless driving despite evidence suggesting he was travelling at speeds of between 70mph and 80mph in medium goods vehicle that has a maximum speed limit of 60mph.

Reports also suggest that the van had a "high centre of mass" due to the fact it was filled with fruit and veg.

Rossano Scamardella, prosecuting at Hove Crown Court, opened the case by explaining: "There was nothing on the road that might have caused this reaction, and there were no other vehicles nearby.

"Having twitched to the right, Mr Edwards steered the van harshly to the left, as if to compensate.

"However, it seems he overcompensated. He veered back to the right before the van flipped over.

"The van rolled two to three times before coming to rest the right way up in the central reservation.

"As it rolled, dust and debris filled the air, damaging some of the cars travelling past and obscuring drivers' vision.

"Incredibly Mr Edwards was able to walk out of the van unaided."

At this point, Mr Scarmadella told the court, Edwards said to a woman driver, Nicola Rich: "Actually, yes, I'm fine."

The court also heard that when Edwards' van was rolling, it hit a lamppost that subsequently became dislodged.

Mr Scarmadella said another driver, Mark Reeves, managed to narrowly avoid the lamppost. But the car in front of him, being driven by Mr Booth, of St Anne's Road, Eastbourne, was hit, Mr Reeves said.

A third driver, Darren Snell, pulled over.

Mr Scarmadella said: "Mr Snell went down to Mr Booth's van and pulled open the driver's door.

"He noticed the windscreen was completely smashed in and Mr Booth was sat in his seat with the seatbelt on. Mr Booth had very obvious serious head injuries."

Edwards is currently on bail. The trial continues.