Motorist 'dozed off' causing serious West Cumbrian crash
by Phil Coleman
A motorist involved in a head-on collision that seriously injured another driver had dozed off at the wheel, a jury heard.
The accident happened at 6.30pm on the B5086 Cockermouth to Egremont Road on May 31 last year.
Carlisle Crown Court was told that Hugh Redmayne, 57, told witnesses after the crash that he was tired and his car drifted to the wrong side of the road after he dozed off.
The defendant, of Deanscales, denies causing another person serious injury by driving dangerously.
Opening the case, prosecutor Richard Bennett said the accident, near Eaglesfield, involved the defendant's Range Rover and a BMW driven by Sellafield worker Paul Wilson.
At 6.30pm, said Mr Bennett, Mr Wilson was driving within the speed limit and the accident happened as he approached a right hand bend.
"When he was approximately 15m from the bend," said Mr Bennett, "he was confronted by the defendant's vehicle, travelling towards him, fully on the wrong side of the road, we say."
Mr Wilson tried to take evasive action but he was unable to avoid the crash. The barrister said a taxi driver directly behind the Range Rover noticed it failed to slow for the bend.
The barrister said: "It carried on in a straight line on to the other side of the road."
The prosecution summarised a conversation just after the crash between that witness and Redmayne. Asked what he was doing, he replied: "I was tired," he jury heard.
Mr Bennett also described another conversation between the defendant and a man who gave Mr Wilson first aid. "He recalls a conversation at the scene with the defendant saying: 'I dozed off and drifted to the wrong side of the road.'"
Mr Wilson said: "I was on my side of the road and all I can remember is someone coming round on my side of the road, and hitting me head on." His injuries included a broken arm, sternum and rib damage.
Redmayne – a company director with a recruitment firm – said he had allowed himself while driving to think of other things.
“I have no recollection other than a sudden realisation I was on the wrong side of the road,” he said. He denied nodding off but accepted causing the accident.
He felt his driving was careless rather than dangerous. The trial continues.