Cumbria Crack

Jury retires in trial of trucker who denies causing cyclist’s death by dangerous driving

Neil Gass

A JURY in the trial of trucker who denies causing a cyclist’s death by driving dangerously in a tragedy on the outskirts of Carlisle has retired to consider its verdict.

Neil Gass, 46, admits his careless driving was responsible for the death of 71-year-old Michael Seminara at Cargo roundabout on the A689 on the morning of March 29, 2018. However, Gass, of Prior Avenue, Canonbie, denies his driving was dangerous and is on trial at Carlisle Crown Court.

Michael Seminara

Mr Seminara, from Wetheral, was run over by Gass’s HGV – towing a log-laden trailer – in the mouth of the roundabout’s second exit junction. It transpired the keen cyclist, who wasn’t seen to signal while riding in the left hand lane, was planning to take the third exit on an electric bike.

Gass concedes he made a split second assumption about the cyclist’s route plan, saying he’d initially thought he would “take a line to give the gentleman as much room as possible”. Gass wasn’t speeding, and told jurors he was “absolutely devastated” by the tragedy which, he said, “will live with me for the rest of my life”.

Jurors are being asked to assess whether Gass’s driving fell far below the standard expected of a competent and careful driver; and whether it would have been obvious to such a driver that it was dangerous.

After hearing closing speeches from the prosecution and defence barristers in the case, and an evidence summary this morning (THURS), the jury of seven men and five women retired to begin their deliberations.

“The accident happened in seconds and this case has been about why it happened,” Recorder David Temkin said to jurors. “The question at the heart of this case is whether the defendant’s driving was dangerous.”

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