A Bridlington woman has gone on trial accused of causing the death of her sister in a car crash described as a “tragic coincidence”.
Jennie Stone, 28, died when her car ploughed into a tree after it was hit by another vehicle driven by her sister, Rosie-Ann Stone, as they both tried to overtake a lorry, a jury at Hull Crown Court heard.
Miss Stone, 20, of Scholars Way, Bridlington, denies a charge of causing the death of her sister by careless driving and her trial began on Monday.
At the time of the accident Rosie-Ann’s silver Vauxhall Astra and Jennie’s blue Peugeot 206 were in a queue behind a slow-moving lorry on the A165 Hull to Bridlington road, near Fraisthorpe.
The court heard Rosie-Ann pulled out of the queue to overtake the truck without looking behind her.
She did not see that her sister, who was further back in the line of traffic, had also pulled out to overtake.
The jury of six men and six women was told how witnesses saw both cars side-by-side at one point, leaving both vehicles scuffed.
Jonathan Sharp, prosecuting, told the jury: “Her (Jennie’s) car veered back to the correct side of the road, in front of the lorry, and then it went off the road. There it ran into a tree at the roadside.
“The impact was very great and the car was badly damaged. Sadly, Jennie sustained multiple injuries and was killed.
“The young driver who pulled out without looking is the defendant, Rosie-Ann Stone.
“It is right you know at the outset of this case that the other driver who died was, by tragic coincidence, the defendant’s elder sister, Jennie Stone.”
Mr Sharp said the crash happened at about 9.15am on February 18 last year on an exceptionally straight section of the road known as a good place to overtake speed-restricted lorries.
Mr Sharp said that in police interviews, Rosie-Ann ‘admitted she did not check over her shoulder before pulling out and had not adjusted her door mirrors ever since she bought her car a month before.’
Timothy Snowden, who was driving a car in front, saw the collision in his rear view mirror.
He told the court: “In my mirror I saw the lorry and two cars abreast of each other. The Peugeot and the Astra then collided. I’m pretty sure of that. I could not see exactly which part of the cars struck.
“The collision did cause the car on the outside to hit the barrier. It went in front of the lorry then tried to straighten up and lost control and skidded.
“It struck a tree. I stopped immediately and called an ambulance from my phone. I went back to the scene and gave assistance. It all happened extremely quickly.”
On Tuesday, the driver of the HGV which the two sisters were trying to overtake, Stephen Wragg, told the court he had shouted to Rosie-Ann Stone, 20, as he climbed out of his lorry after the crash: “That was a big one!”. She replied: “That was my sister!” and began to cry. She became hysterical shouting and running to anyone.”
Defence barrister for Miss Stone, Patrick Palmer, put to Mr Wragg: “You remember the lady (Rosie-Ann) being very upset. She was effectively being hysterical. When you saw her she was not running to the blue car. She had been to the blue car and was running back to you. You knew that a blue and a grey car had been involved in an accident.
Mr Wragg said: “The lady (Rosie-Ann Stone) was in such a state, other people led her way.”
Mr Palmer said: “She was someone who was beyond self control?” to which Mr Wragg replied: “Definitely.”
Other eye witnesses gave evidence on Tuesday and described seeing Jennie’s car clip the barrier at the side of the road and crash into a tree.
Rosie-Ann had told police she knew her sister was travelling on the A165 at the same time, though in separate cars because Jennie had very recently moved to Bridlington.
Senior police accident investigator John Rusted told the court Rosie-Ann Stone would have had long enough to see her sister overtaking in which to avoid a crash.
Mr Rusted said reports of Jennie Stone moving at up to 70mph would not have made a difference.
He told the jury: “However long Jennie Stone was in that offside lane, Rosie-Ann Stone would have had a clear view of Jennie Stone behind her.
“In my view it is not safe to pull out if you don’t have a clear view, because you cannot be sure you are not pulling out in to the path of another vehicle.”
Mr Rusted said he had visited the scene of the accident at 10.35am on February 18 and found “enormous damage” to the blue Peugeot.
Mark Ibbotson, a paramedic who went to the collision, told the court: “I was asked to treat a lady (Rosie-Ann Stone). She was very upset. She said: ‘Other cars were overtaking a HGV in front, and my sister was behind me. I pulled out to overtake too – into the path of my sister behind me’.”
The trial continues.