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Driver 'thought biker was speeding' in head-on A41 crash

A driver who overtook a caravan and smashed head-on into a motorcyclist who suffered life changing injuries told police he thought the bike was speeding, a court heard.

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The crash happened on the A41, pictured near Hinstock. Photo: Google

The crash happened on the A41 Hinstock Bypass near Market Drayton on September 9, 2018.

It involved Rauhan Aziz, who is on trial at Shrewsbury Crown Court accused of causing serious injury to biker Peter Welch by dangerous driving.

The case suffered a lengthy delay due to the loss of vital dash-cam footage, but was opened on Wednesday by prosecutor Mr Timothy Ashmole.

On Thursday, the court heard a prepared statement from 25-year-old Aziz used in a police interview on January 24, 2019, in which he said he believed the bike to be "in excess of the speed limit".

Read out by Pc Nunns – the designated officer from West Mercia Police in charge of the case – the statement said: "I accept I was driving the Vauxhall Astra.

"I was following a caravan which was being towed. Shortly before the collision a vehicle in front overtook the caravan – as it was driving slowly I decided to overtake.

"I saw some vehicles in the distance but I believed it safe for me to complete the overtake manoeuvre."

Mr Welch had been travelling on a motorbike along the road in the opposite direction and, while Aziz was overtaking the caravan, there was a head-on collision.

Mr Welch suffered life-changing injuries to his arms, back and legs.

The statement from Aziz, who was carrying passengers, added: "I noticed a motorcycle riding towards us in excess of the speed limit.

"I again reiterate, when I decided to make the overtake manoeuvre I believed it safe to do so."

Aziz said the car was a "write-off", and that he pulled over immediately after the crash to tend to Mr Welch.

The defendant, of Fox Hollies Road, Hall Green, Birmingham, denies the charge of causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

The trial continues.

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