Blackwood driver took photo of fatally injured cyclist after crash, court hears

Blackwood driver took photo of fatally injured cyclist after crash, court hears

ACCUSED: Andrzej Wojcicki

DIED: Owain Richard James

First published in News
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A BLACKWOOD man accused of causing death by dangerous driving took a photograph of the cyclist he had just hit lying in the road, a court heard today.

Andrzej Wojcicki, 44, of Conway Court, denies causing the death of cyclist Owain Richard James, of Oakdale, while driving a white minibus on the A472 at Newbridge on Sunday, July 21 last year.

Witness Gareth Beecham told the jury at Cardiff Crown Court today he was following the minibus in a Ford Mondeo with his three sons, then aged 12, eight and seven, as passengers.

He said he saw the minibus drifting and thought the driver must have been distracted.

He told the jury: "He drifted towards the rumble strip on the bypass and went straight into the cyclist. The cyclist went up over the roof of the van along with the cycle."

MrJames, aged 30, suffered severe injuries during the collision and later died in hospital.

Mr Beecham said he called the emergency services, checked on his children who he said were thankfully distracted by a tablet computer and went back to the cyclist.

Recalling when Wojcicki came over to the scene, Mr Beecham said: "I asked him 'how did you hit him?' He said 'I didn't see him'.

"I didn't understand how didn't he see him because I'd seen him in plenty of time before he got hit."

Prosecutor Nicholas Gareth Jones asked Mr Beecham: "What did the driver do then?" "He started taking photos on his mobile phone," Mr Beecham added, "he took a photo of the cyclist as he lay on the floor."

Judge David Wynn Morgan asked Mr Beecham: "Did you see, from where you were, the cyclist drifting into the path of the minibus?" "No", said Mr Beecham.

Another eye-witness James Steven Davies, a registered nurse, was travelling behind Mr Beecham in a Ford Focus with his colleague Richard Szpadt.

Mr Davies told the court: "My colleague said he would call for assistance and asked me to go to see the injured cyclist."

As he was attending to Mr James, Mr Davies said he became aware that Wojcicki had come over to the scene, but not until five or ten minutes later.

Mr Davies said: "I asked him if he was the driver of the minibus. He nodded. I asked him 'what happened' and he said 'I don't know'. I asked him 'didn't you see the cyclist?' and he said 'no'.

"I felt as though he looked as though he was in shock so I asked him to go and sit out of the way and wait until the emergency services arrived."

Diane Bailey, of Cwmbran, was a front seat passenger of her husband's Renault Scenic driving on the opposite carriageway to the crash.

She said she saw the minibus "hit the cyclist" and saw the cyclist and the bicycle fly "quite high up" into the air.

The jury were shown a photograph published in the Argus last July of when the air ambulance landed at the scene of the crash.

Witnesses were asked to point out their vehicles in the photograph to indicate their position.

Proceeding.

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