Driver Virginia Pereira 'ignored stop signs' before driving into motorcyclist Michael Sharp's path in fatal crash: Court
A motorcyclist was killed after a driver ignored stop signs at a
junction and drove into his path, a court heard.
Michael Sharp's 1000cc Honda was struck by Virginia
Pereira's car and then hit a traffic island, leaving him with
multiple injuries, jurors were told.
Mr Sharp, 57 and pictured right, died at the scene of the
accident on the A229 Blue Bell Hill, near the Lower Bell pub, on
July 28 2011.
Pereira, 62, of Portland Street, Chatham, denies causing death
by dangerous driving and an alternative charge of causing death by
Maidstone Crown Court heard Mr Sharpe, 57, left his Chatham home
in the morning to go to Aylesford to pay in a cheque at his
"There was no urgency about his journey," said Martin Yale,
prosecuting. “In fact, his wife had offered to pay it in for him
but he had decided to do it himself and then go to visit his
Meanwhile, Pereira was leaving Maidstone with her daughter in
the front passenger seat in her Vauxhall Corsa and heading for a
slip road at the bottom of Blue Bell Hill.
Jack Laker was driving behind Pereira on the A229 in his Renault
Scenic car and saw she was driving slowly - 30-40mph in a 50mph
Other traffic was overtaking her, but Mr Laker remained behind
because he wanted to take the same slip road.
Scene of fatal crash in
Blue Bell Hill in July 2011
Mr Laker told how Pereira slowed down to 10-15mph as she
approached the junction.
"She then accelerated straight across the junction, completely
failing to heed stop signs clearly positioned at the junction and a
solid white line across the road, as well as 'Stop' painted on the
road," said Mr Yale.
"As she accelerated across the road, Mr Laker saw Mr Sharp
approach. He instinctively shouted 'Stop', although he acknowledged
there was no way she would have heard him."
The front of the Corsa hit the rear nearside of the motorbike,
which then crashed into a traffic island. Pereira continued across
the junction and stopped the other side.
"Mr Laker went to speak to her and remonstrated with her," said
the prosecutor. "She told him she hadn't seen the motorcycle."
The jury of eight men and four women were taken with Judge David
Griffith-Jones QC and lawyers to view the accident scene on Monday.
Pereira, who has a Portuguese interpreter, chose not to go.
The trial continues.
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