Lorry driver ‘who smashed into motorcyclist drove off and left young man dying’
A lorry driver smashed into a motorcyclist and continued his phone call as he left a young man dying at the scene, a court heard today. Lucian-Sorin Todor, 52, allegedly carried on talking on his phone after colliding with Jack Burgess, 22, while crossing double white lines to overtake him. Todor briefly pulled over, but did not stop his 46-minute phone call after the fatal crash and continued the call for 30 minutes after leaving the scene, the court heard.
Jack died from head injuries caused in a collision with the lorry’s wheels, a jury at Winchester Crown Court was told. Todor stopped for just two minutes before driving off and later told police he didn’t think he had anything to do with his death. Todor, who is originally from Romania, today pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving but denied causing death by dangerous driving.
Jack Burgess, 22, died of his injuries in hospital (SCAS/Solent News)
Jurors were told that as he travelled on the A32 near Petersfield, Hampshire, Todor overtook a cyclist coming up to a bend with a restricted view.
Travelling on the other side of the road was an Audi A6, a Vauxhall and Burgess on a Yamaha motorcycle. The lorry driver’s manoeuvre onto the other side of the road forced the other vehicles to brake. Tom Wilkins, prosecuting, told the court: “Mr Burgess then braked however he came off motorcycle falling to his offside when he had the Vauxhall in front of him.
“Some scuff markings on the rear of the Vauxhall showed where his motorcycle came into contact with the Vauxhall.” The court heard Jack was wearing a red and black helmet and red scuff marks on Todor’s lorry showed where the motorcyclist’s head had struck the lorry’s wheels. Todor claimed he inspected his lorry after the collision and did not see any dents or scratches.
Today Todor pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving but denied causing death by dangerous driving (Surrey Live/BPM Media)
The court heard how he was on the phone when the crash happened and continued the call during the two minutes he had stopped before leaving Jack on the side of the road.
Mr Wilkins added: “The call lasted for 46 minutes and 13 seconds which means at the time of the collision the defendant was engaged in a telephone call which continued for two minutes or so that he was at the scene and then for another 30 minutes or so when he went away. “He did not even stop the call at the roadside when he pulled over.” Todor said in a statement to police that he would have been using Bluetooth as he had an earpiece.
In the statement, he said: “I do not believe I caused the accident. I am extremely sorry that someone has died but I do not believe it was caused by me. Sign up for our daily newsletter to keep up to date with all the essential information at www.mirror.co.uk/email.
“There were people there already on the phone to the police. “There was no scratches or dents to my vehicle – I did not believe I had been involved in any sort of accident and other people were there helping. “If I thought I was involved in an accident I would not have left.”
Jack, from Waterlooville, Hants., suffered fatal head injuries as a result of the crash in June 2019 and sadly died in hospital. His family revealed that his organs had helped five other people. His sister Sophie, who works for the South Central Ambulance Service, said: “We realised that as we were saying our goodbyes, around the country other families were coming together because their loved one was getting another chance of life.
“Jack was a funny, adventurous and caring person who was loved by all that knew him. “It’s been hard for my mum, his older brother, twin sister and I, grieving for Jack but without having the positivity of knowing how Jack helped others by being an organ donor, it would have been even harder.” Jack’s heart went to a man in his 50s, his liver to a man in his 30s, his pancreas and one kidney to a man in his 30s, his other kidney to another man in his 30s, and his knee joint went to a cancer sufferer.
The trial continues.
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