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Pensioner on trial over causing death of plumber Jay Hayes from Halling in bike crash in Pembury

A 72-year-old woman is on trial accused of killing a biker by careless driving.

Suzanne Gaveston, who denies the offence, had left her home in Woodsgate Way, Pembury, and turned onto the High Street in August 2020.

Suzanne Gaveston
Suzanne Gaveston

But a jury at Maidstone Crown Court heard as she waited to join the traffic, her vehicle was struck by a motorbike ridden by father-of-two Jay Hayes from Halling.

Two passing paramedics stopped to help and an air ambulance was summoned – but the 33-year-old plumber died at the scene.

Prosecutor Christopher Amis said it was accepted the bike had been travelling at about 46-47 mph in a 30 mph zone prior to Mr Hayes applying his brakes.

He told the jury experts had concluded that had Mr Hayes been travelling at 30 mph he would have been able to have stopped in time.

Mr Amis said one eye witness told police that the BMW had “shot out” into the eastbound lane and two others said the car was stationary at the time.

Jay Hayes died in the accident
Jay Hayes died in the accident

“The motorcycle, which had come from the by-pass, had nowhere to go and collided with the front offside of the BMW.

He ended up on the ground on his back with the motorbike on top of his lower body.

“He suffered very serious crush injuries and died at the scene,” he added.

The prosecutor claimed eye-witnesses said Gaveston’s vehicle had crossed the well-worn give-way road markings but did not look to her right as she sought to merge with the busy traffic.

He added the law says drivers “should not proceed past give-way lines and enter a main road at a time likely to endanger other drivers”.

Floral tributes were left at the scene of the crash
Floral tributes were left at the scene of the crash

Gaveston later gave a prepared statement to police in which she denied driving without due care and attention. The prosecutor added: “She expressed her sincere remorse and regret for what had happened but said she didn’t believe she could have done anything practically different.”

Mr Hayes had two sons aged six and three and was a highly experienced rider who had a passion for motorbikes since childhood.

He was remembered as "loyal, caring and loving" in a tribute by his family.

The 33-year-old grew up in the West Malling area and was a former pupil at St Simon Stock Catholic School in Maidstone.

His family were dealt a further blow after his Facebook account, which they said they visited often to help feel closer to him after his death, was removed after reportedly being hacked.

The trial continues.

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