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I was not in a rush, insists death crash driver

By Marion Brennan | Sedgley | Crime | Published:

A motorist from Dudley who was involved in a fatal crash on a country road has denied she was rushing because she was late for a lunch appointment.

Wolverhampton Crown Court

Emily Doyle-Gibbons, 20, was on her way to meet a friend for a pub meal in Brewood, in south Staffordshire, when her Ford Fiesta collided with a Vauxhall Corsa travelling in the opposite direction.

The Corsa driver Malcolm Aplin, a 59-year-old grandfather, died from his injuries.

Wolverhampton Crown Court heard that the crash took place at 4.15pm, a quarter of an hour after she had been due to meet her friend.

But giving evidence, Doyle-Gibbons told the jury it was not unusual for her to be late and that her friend would not have been surprised by it.

She also denied being distracted by her mobile phone which she had been using to play music earlier in the journey.

Doyle-Gibbons said she had pulled in at Millennium Way, Codsall, on the way to text her friend and to switch off both her music and sat nav as their usage was affecting the efficiency of her battery, which was on charge at the time.

Under cross-examination by Paul Spratt, prosecuting, she insisted she had not been distracted in any way during the journey.

“I don’t touch my phone while I’m in the car driving,” she said.

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Doyle-Gibbons, who was 19 at the time, had been driving for 18 months and had a clean licence, the court heard.

Braking

She was driving on Port Lane, between Codsall and Brewood, at around 60mph – the speed limit – before gradually braking on the approach to a bend just before the crash, she said.

Then the front-left of her car ‘dipped’ as though she had hit a pothole and she heard a bang before her car was ‘thrown across the road’ on impact, said Doyle-Gibbons, who suffered a fractured pelvis, wrist and foot.

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Mr Spratt asked her: “Had a lack of traffic and the quietness of the road encouraged you to drive a little faster?” She replied “No, not at all.”

He went on: “Were you comfortable at that speed that you could react to anything in the road?” She told him: “Yes I was.”

Asked by her own barrister, Oliver Woolhouse, whether she had made up her account "to escape the consequences of her actions", she responded: "No, I did not."

She denied the collision was caused by her driving, maintaining that a defective damper in the shock absorber was at fault. The court has heard from experts that the damper was faulty but would not have materially affected the car’s performance.

The road was examined for potholes in the vicinity of the collision but none was found. It is claimed she may have hit a drain ridge.

Doyle-Gibbons, of Warren Drive, denies causing death by careless driving in June last year.

The trial continues.

Marion Brennan

By Marion Brennan
@Marion_EStar

News and features reporter, specialising in human interest and local history stories.

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