Felpham driver denies failing to see Bognor biker before fatal collision

Dawn Devine has been banned from driving for 12 months
Dawn Devine has been banned from driving for 12 months

A TEARFUL driver has described the moment she was involved in a fatal collision with a motorcyclist at a junction in Climping.

Robert Giacopazzi, 48, from Bognor Regis, died when his Yamaha motorcycle was in collision with a maroon Vauxhall Corsa on the A259 Crookthorn Lane on August 25, 2013.

Robert 'Jacko' Giacopazzi who was killed in a motorcyle accident at Climping in 2013

Robert 'Jacko' Giacopazzi who was killed in a motorcyle accident at Climping in 2013

The driver, Dawn Devine, of Wish Field Drive, Felpham, is currently standing trial for causing his death by careless driving, a charge she denies.

Devine, 55, was turning right onto the A259 from the B2233 Yapton Road at the junction in Climping, next to the Oystercatcher public house.

Giving evidence on the fourth day of her trial at Chichester Crown Court, Devine said she had been taking part in a shooting competition in Ford before setting off for her home in Felpham.

She said she pulled up the junction and after three or four cars passed in both directions she noticed that there was a ‘large gap’ in the traffic.

She said: “I edged forward, closer to the road lines so I could look to the right. I looked left, then right again and I slowly pulled across the road to the chevron area.

“I checked to the left to make sure I could complete my manoeuvre and it was clear, so I looked forward and started to move and that’s when I saw the bike.”

Visibly shaking and now in tears, Devine continued: “He was just coming straight towards the back end of the car. Because the car was at an angle I just knew it was going to hit.

“I saw the bike coming, it was so close, it was inevitable that he was braking and skidding. He went past my view and then I felt the impact on the car.”

Devine said she dialled 999 and moved her car before going to assist Mr Giacopazzi. Another motorist led her away from the rider, and despite ambulance crews being there within minutes, Mr Giacopazzi died at the scene.

Prosecuting, Edward Hand said: Mrs Devine, I am going to suggest that...you failed to properly look towards Bognor Regis on the A259 (towards where Mr Giacopazzi was coming from)?”

“That’s not true, not at all,” Devine answered.

“Mr Giacopazzi was there to be seen but you failed to see him?”

“Not at all, no,” Devine said.

The jury also heard evidence from defence witness Derek Vanner, who said he was overtaken by Mr Giacopazzi prior to the collision at a speed that was higher than the speed limit.

Both the prosecution and defence evidence has now been completed and a jury is expected to consider its verdict tomorrow, Friday.

Mr Giacopazzi, known as ‘Jacko’, was the landlord of the Prince of Wales public house in Bognor.