Cumbria Crack

Jury shown dramatic moment cyclist was run over in Carlisle roundabout tragedy

Michael Seminara

A JURY has watched video footage showing the dramatic moment a cyclist was tragically run over by an HGV and killed during a crash near Carlisle.

Michael Seminara, 71, died in a catastrophic collision between the electric bike he was riding and a wagon on the A689 at Cargo roundabout on March 29, 2018.

As Mr Seminara, from Wetheral, tackled the roundabout in the left hand lane, intending – it transpired – to leave by the third exit, he was struck by the log-laden lorry as driver Neil Gass took the second exit.

Neil Gass

Dash cam footage from a van travelling behind Gass’s wagon captured the tragedy and the lead-up to it, and there was a stunned silence at Carlisle Crown Court as jurors were shown the footage several times.
Gass, 46, admits causing Mr Seminara’s death by careless driving, but denies doing so dangerously and is on trial.

Several eyewitnesses have told the jury they saw the fatal collision as Gass negotiated the roundabout – at 23mph, police concluded. Each thought, because of Mr Seminara’s position in the left-hand roundabout lane, he would take the same second exit as Gass. The cyclist, wearing a high visibility jacket, made no hand signal.

“It was as the wagon exited the roundabout that I saw the cyclist being run over under the trailer of the wagon,” said car passenger Stephanie McManus, who wept while giving evidence.

Van driver Andrew Haugh recalled watching as the cyclist “just carried on going” as the HGV approached. He saw Gass run to the scene after stopping his vehicle.

“Was it quite apparent to you he was utterly devastated by what had occurred?” Lisa Judge, defending, asked of Gass.

“Oh definitely, yes,” replied Mr Haugh.

Forensic police collision investigator PC Steven Wakefield also gave evidence.

Prosecutor Paul Brookwell asked him: “Is there anything Mr Gass could have done to prevent this collision?”
PC Wakefield replied: “The most simple and obvious thing would have been to slow down and stay behind the cyclist.”

Asked whether it had been a “proper place” to overtake a cyclist, the officer concluded: “In my opinion, no, for a number of reasons.” Gass had chosen to overtake while negotiating a junction, concluded the PC, who added: “The Highway Code strongly advises against that.”

PC Wakefield noted the road also narrowed “considerably” from two lanes to one in that location.
The trial continues.

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