6:03pm Wednesday 24th February 2010
By Will Carson
A WOMAN who knocked down and killed a cyclist drove through a set of traffic lights “several seconds” after they turned red, a court heard.
Cyclist Greg Dear, 27, died after being hit by a car driven by Julia Moore as he crossed Millbrook Road West in Southampton on October 16, 2008.
Motorist Daniel Goodridge, who witnessed the fatal collision, told Southampton Crown Court he had been stopped at the red lights on Millbrook Road West at its junction with Regents Park Road for “several seconds” before Moore’s Fiat Punto went through them in the fast lane.
Mr Goodridge had been travelling into Southampton from Totton in the slow lane when he pulled up to the traffic lights shortly after 7am.
He told jurors: “I approached the traffic lights which turned amber then red and came to a controlled stop.
“There was a car in front of me. There were several cars in the middle lane.
“I was aware of a noise coming at speed in the outside lane so I looked over my shoulder and it was an orange Punto coming at speed and it went straight through the red light.”
Asked by prosecutor Mark Florida- James how long he had been stopped at the lights before the Punto went through them, Mr Goodridge said: “I was stationary for several seconds.
Then I heard the car approaching. Then I saw the cyclist go to cross the road.
“The car hit the cyclist and he was thrown 20 yards into the air.”
Under cross-examination from defence counsel Peter Asteris, Mr Goodridge said his car radio had been on at the time of the collision but he insisted he had heard Moore’s car approaching.
Asked if it was possible for the traffic lights to have been on amber when the collision occurred, he replied: “No way, it was red.”
Mr Goodridge said it had been a “dry, clear day” when the crash happened and that there had been no need for his car lights to be on, however another driver, Colin Richards, told jurors conditions had been “dark and gloomy”.
Mr Richards had been waiting at the Regents Park Road junction on his way to work at Southampton Docks when he saw the collision.
He told jurors he had noticed a light from a cyclist at the crossing on Millbrook Road West.
He added: “Traffic (travelling from Millbrook to Southampton) started to stop so I took my eyes off the cars and looked at the traffic lights waiting for my lights to change.
“Then I noticed a gold coloured car come past in the outside lane. As it went past I lost sight of it because there was a white van in front of me.
“Then I heard a double bang and the sound of metal scraping.
“I noticed a bicycle light flying through the air above the van in front and thought to myself it must have been the cyclist who was on the central reservation.”
Mr Richards said Moore’s car had gone through the lights two to three seconds after the other cars had stopped.
Moore, 31, of Rownhams Road, Southampton, denies a charge of causing death by dangerous driving.