Jeep driver denies speeding in Nelson crash
5:06pm Wednesday 30th January 2013 in News
A TEENAGE driver whose Jeep veered off the road and partly demolished a house denied he was speeding at the time of the smash.
Robbie Morgan told Newport Crown Court "I had no reason to put my foot down" while he was heading to a garage for petrol and cigarettes with two friends after a sixth form party.
He collided with a car on Shingrig Road, Nelson, on December 2, 2011, seriously injuring a pedestrian before hitting the house, which sounded like an "earthquake" to its owner.
Taking the stand, Morgan, 18, of George Street, Bedlinog, Treharris, said Renault Megane driver Sharon Mohamed had pulled out on him in a "split second," and he braked and swerved.
"If I had not veered off I would have collided straight with the vehicle and I wanted to avoid an accident," he said.
Describing conditions as "treacherous" owing to the rain and wind, Morgan, who had only been driving for six months, said he didn't look at his speedometer but was going at a "safe" speed.
In interview he said he was travelling at 28mph, but in court changed that to “in the thirties”.
Morgan, who underwent three operations and spent two weeks in hospital after the accident, pleaded not guilty to dangerous driving.
Earlier in the trial, the jury was told Miss Mohamed had been signalling to turn right off the road, which has a 30mph limit, to get to a regular parking place.
The impact pushed Miss Mohamed's car into the middle of the road.
Pedestrian Geraldine Downey was knocked "10 or 15 feet into the air" and was left unconscious in the gutter.
She remembered little of the incident but afterwards woke in hospital with multiple injuries.
PC Christopher Goddard, collision investigation officer with Gwent Police, had been asked to look at the findings of a subsequently retired colleague who had examined the scene.
He told the court that over the distance the jeep had been on the road prior to the collision, it could have reached 60-70mph, but that was theoretical.
He said however, that from the damage to the vehicles and the building, "this is not a 30mph impact, but something above."