THE jury is out in the trial of a man accused of causing death by dangerous driving after his HGV struck two cyclists, killing one and injuring the other.

Richard Merris denies causing death by dangerous driving at his ongoing trial at Worcester Crown Court.

The 50-year-old lorry driver was involved in a crash with two cyclists on the A449 at Hartlebury on October 22, 2018.

Barry Brettell was pronounced dead at the scene while his friend William Higgins, known as Roy, suffered a shoulder injury.

Hereford Times:

Merris, of Masters Lane, Halesowen, further denies causing death by careless driving and causing serious injury by dangerous driving and to Mr Higgins.

Fiona Elder, prosecuting, told the jury in her closing speech that both cyclists were "experienced" and used to cycling together.

They were wearing bright reflective clothing, Mr Brettell was also wearing yellow reflective overshoes.

She said the road surface and visibility were good and traffic was light but Merris "drove right into the back of Mr Brettell".

“That should not have happened in those conditions,” Miss Elder said.

She said there were three possible scenarios - Merris "just didn’t see them at all" in which case his driving fell "far below the standard of a careful and competent driver", or he did not leave the cyclists sufficient room as he overtook which again would mean his driving fell below that standard or that there was "an unexpected event", which left Merris with "no time to react", in which case he was driving neither carelessly nor dangerously.

Mark Kelly, for Merris, said it was this last scenario which was "not only tenable but the most likely scenario and fits closest with the evidence".

He described Merris as "an experienced HGV driver" - driving lorries for 31 years - and said it was possible Mr Brettell’s bike "made an unexpected move".

Skid marks showed his client was 3ft to 4ft out into the carriageway, an indication he saw the cyclists well in advance and was driving with "considerable forethought and planning".