Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

The Mistake That Led to Death of a Car Enthusiast

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

The Mistake That Led to Death of a Car Enthusiast

Article excerpt

Byline: ROB KENNEDY Court reporter rob.kennedy@reachplc.com

ACAR enthusiast was killed in a head-on crash on the A1 caused by the "catastrophic mistake" of a van driver who was heading down the dual carriageway the wrong way, a court heard. Barry Carmon was travelling on the northbound side of the road when he came face-to-face with a Ford Transit van being driven towards him by Matthew Crook.

A court heard Crook was driving south on the northbound carriageway "in error" and collided with Mr Carmon's car, which was in the outside lane. The impact left him with a torn aorta, which killed him and his car then burst into flames, jurors were told.

The 30-year-old, on his way home from an event in Blyth for car lovers, suffered fatal injuries in the collision, which happened near Newton-on-the-Moor, five miles south of Alnwick, in April 2017.

Crook, 26, of Albatross Way, Blyth, has pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving but denies the more serious charge of causing death by dangerous driving and is on trial at Newcastle Crown Court.

Sue Hirst, prosecuting, told jurors: "The cause of that collision can be simply explained: The defendant drove the wrong way down the dual carriageway. In error, he drove south down the northbound side of the A1.

"It was the defendant's catastrophic mistake which led to the inevitable and fatal collision.

"The prosecution case is in driving the wrong way down the dual carriageway, the driving fell far below the standard expected of a careful and competent driver. His driving was dangerous."

The court heard Crook and his partner had been to a pub just off the A1 at Newton-on-the-Moor, which is around five miles south of Alnwick. They left around 9.45pm to go home.

Crook intended to go home to Blyth retracing the route he had taken to get to the pub and later told police he had used his satnav. …

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