Friday, February 8, 2008

Woman, 85, 'killed by dangerous trailer'

Woman, 85, 'killed by dangerous trailer'

An elderly woman died when a trailer came loose and hit the car she was in, a court heard today.

Timothy Rose, 49, was towing the trailer on his Land Rover down a hill when it became detached and swung into the road, where it collided with a Vauxhall Corsa travelling uphill.

Elizabeth Roberts, 85, was the nearside passenger in the car driven by her son-in-law Paul Llewellyn, Cardiff Crown Court heard.

Hywel Hughes, prosecuting, said: “Glass was flying everywhere, there were scenes of chaos and confusion after the impact. It became clear Mrs Roberts was injured very seriously.

“She died at the scene despite valiant efforts by paramedics and a doctor.”

Mr Hughes said the trailer was in a bad condition – on three of its four wheels the brakes were defective. He said the ball fitting on the Land Rover and socket fitting on the trailer were different sizes.

Rose, of Elizabeth Avenue, Barry, pleaded not guilty to causing death by dangerous driving at a previous hearing, also at Cardiff Crown Court.

In a statement read out in court, he said: “The trailer started to fishtail. As I looked back in horror, I saw the trailer, instead of being behind me it was beside me but there was nothing I could do.”

The court heard Rose had a routine check ’“once in a while” and did the maintenance himself.

Hayley Griffiths was driving behind Rose at the time of the incident on Pentyrch Hill in Cardiff on March 9 last year.

She said: “At the top of the hill I noticed the trailer started to bounce from side to side.

“I wanted to get away from the trailer so I tried to slow down.”

She said she did not see any brake lights come on on the trailer.

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