Rider could have been speeding before fatal collision

Court report
Court report

A MOTORCYCLIST was likely to be speeding in the moments before a collision which killed him, experts have told a court.

Robert Giacopazzi, 48, from Bognor Regis, died when his Yamaha motorcycle collided with a car at a junction in Climping 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 of the Vauxhall Corsa, Dawn Devine, from Felpham, is currently standing trial for causing his death by careless driving. She denies the charge.

The collision happened on the A259 Crookthorn Lane in between Bognor Regis and Littlehampton in a 40mph speed zone.

Devine, 55, of Wish Field Drive, Felpham, was pulling out of the B2233 Yapton Road, turning right at the junction close to the Oystercatcher public house.

Chichester Crown Court today heard from two collision experts who agreed that it was likely Mr Giacopazzi was riding at a speed of between 47 and 59mph immediately before applying the brakes.

Dawn Devine, 55, on trial for causing death by careless driving

Dawn Devine, 55, on trial for causing death by careless driving

His motorbike went into a skid before he struck the rear of the car, causing fatal injuries.

PC Andrew Slark, an experienced forensic collision expert, carried out extensive tests at the scene following the incident.

He went through in detail the findings of a report, which was jointly agreed with another collision expert, Paul Fiddler, who later gave evidence.

PC Slark told a jury: “It is likely that the motorcycle was travelling above 40 miles per hour when the rider applied emergency braking.”

PC Slark said that from where Devine was estimated to have been positioned at the junction, she would have had approximately 105 metres of restricted viewing to her right, and ‘in the region of 90 metres unrestricted viewing’ to the right, in the direction of where Mr Giacopazzi travelled from.

He said hedgerows, trees and an A-board from the Oystercatcher were all in the line of sight to the right from the junction, adding that ‘it was impossible to plot exactly’ what Devine’s range of sight would have been.

The joint report found that, assuming Mr Giacopazzi was travelling at between 47 and 59mph before applying the brakes, it could have been possible for Devine to see him between 74 and 104 metres away before she began her right turn manoeuvre.

Prosecuting, Edward Hand said that had Mr Giacopazzi in theory been travelling at a speed of 61mph or slower, and applied the emergency brake at the point of unrestricted viewing, 90 metres, he would have had enough time to safely stop before a collision, to which PC Slark said: “That’s correct.”

The court also heard that there had been a number of collisions at that particular junction, 20 resulting in slight injuries, three deemed ‘serious collisions’, and no fatalities recorded before Mr Giacopazzi’s.

Defending, Karen Dempsey argued that the possibility of any hesitation from Devine before she pulled out had not been calculated.

Addressing Mr Fiddler she asked: “The longer that hesitation, the longer the distance of the motorcycle from the vehicle. So potentially out of sight? (when she pulled out).

“Potentially,” Mr Fiddler answered.

The defence is due to begin tomorrow.