Woman injured and house extension destroyed in Nelson crash, court hears
6:21pm Tuesday 29th January 2013 in Campaign news
THE trial of a Bedlinog teenager accused of dangerous driving was told how a pedestrian was badly injured and a house extension destroyed following a collision involving his jeep.
Robbie Morgan's Grand Cherokee jeep was involved in a collision with Sharon Mohamed's Renault Megane on Shingrig Road, Nelson, at about 8.30pm on December 2 2011.
Newport Crown Court 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.
She had just begun her manoeuvre when 18-year-old Morgan's jeep came up from behind, hitting the driver's side of her car before knocking over Geraldine Downey and embedding itself in the house.
Miss Downey was left unconscious in the gutter and the impact with the house sounded, according to householder Lucy Flowers, like an "earthquake."
Mr Morgan, of George Street, Bedlinog, Treharris, has pleaded guilty to a charge of dangerous driving.
The court was told Miss Mohamed had driven from Cefn Hengoed to get a takeaway meal.
Her daughter and front seat passenger Kelly Thomas said the weather was "very bad" with heavy rain and strong wind. Miss Mohamed had just begun to turn right when, Miss Thomas told the court, she saw lights from behind that "came from nowhere."
The impact pushed Miss Mohamed's car into the middle of the road and Miss Thomas saw Miss Downey knocked "10 or 15 feet into the air."
Miss Mohamed said the weather was "appalling" and she had been checking her mirrors prior to turning right and there was no other vehicle in sight.
She described the impact as "very forceful" and as she had hit her head she could not remember the immediate aftermath.
Defence counsel Jason Taylor's suggested that Miss Mohamed had pulled away from the kerb into the path of the jeep, and that Miss Mohamed had been delivering for an Indian takeaway that evening, scenarios denied by both witnesses.
Mr Taylor said he could not understand why Miss Mohamed would park such a distance from the takeaway given the dreadful weather. She said she was planning to park where she always parked in Nelson and where she knew she could get a space.
Miss Downey's statement, read in court, described her walking toward a friend's house and seeing headlights coming toward her. The next thing she remembers is waking in hospital with multiple injuries.
In her statement, Lucy Flowers described watching television with two of her sons and "hearing a massive bang and feeling the house move."
She took her sons out of the back of the house for their safety, then went to the front where she saw a woman, Miss Downey, lying motionless "face down in the gutter. I thought she was dead."
She also saw a boy lying on the ground by the driver's door of the jeep, silent, staring, and appearing to be injured. She also smelled gas.
The jeep, she said, was "embedded in my house", the extension "completely destroyed."
She said she was "in shock and in a complete daze."
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."