Cyclist swerved to 'avoid something' before fatal crash, court hears

ON TRIAL: Andrzej Wojcicki

ON TRIAL: Andrzej Wojcicki

First published in News
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A BLACKWOOD driver accused of causing death by dangerous driving told police the cyclist he hit swerved in front of his minibus as if to avoid something, a court heard.

Andrzej Wojcicki, 44, of Conway Court, denies causing the death of cyclist Owain Richard James, of Oakdale, while driving a white minibus on the A472 at Newbridge on Sunday, July 21 last year.

Mr James, aged 30, suffered severe injuries in the crash and later died in hospital.

A police interview with Wojcicki the day after the crash was read aloud to the jury at Cardiff Crown Court yesterday. (THURS)

In the interview, Wojcicki, who was not in court yesterday afternoon (THURS) due to illness, told police that he was returning from a Jehovah's Witness convention in Coventry when the crash took place.

He said he had his wife and two young daughters in the minibus with him at the time of the collision.

Wojcicki told officers: "The guy was pedalling heavily, competitively, just like he was racing. He was moving the bicycle left to right, I don't know what happened.

"Basically he swerved into our side, like he wanted to avoid something. It was such a shock to me, I didn't even apply my brakes."

Wojcicki told officers that he was not distracted and had an "extremely good view" of the left hand side of the road as his vehicle was left hand drive.

He said he first saw Mr James about 20 to 30 metres up the road.

Wojcicki said in interview: "I felt comfortable just to stay in the slow lane. What happened I can't describe, he just swerved into our side.

"All of a sudden he was in front of my car. You just heard a bang, crash and..."

Wojcicki told officers he did not pull over for about 100m as he wanted to make sure it was safe.

In a further police interview, conducted in October last year, Wojcicki was questioned about photographs of vintage sports cars found on his smart phone which had been taken during his journey.

Wojcick said it took "seconds" to take a photograph and he used his right hand to operate the camera on his phone and left hand on the steering wheel. He told officers his minibus was automatic so he did not need to change gear.

When asked why he took a photograph of Mr James lying on the roadside following the collision, Wojcicki said: "As a part of the evidence, just to show this is where he is, just to make sure you've got some evidence of the incident.

"If you do have an issue, you take photographs, you do try and record what happened, just in case somebody's got a query."

Proceeding.

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