Driver collided with motorbike rider trying to overtake HGV on hill

A 'SELFISH' motorist collided with a motorbike rider after he tried to overtake a HGV on a hill, a court heard. Wesley Royle had his children in his car when he tried to overtake the vehicle while rushing back for a work emergency. He caused serious injury to biker Gemma Walsh, who said she had been left unable to work because of the incident.

Preston Crown Court heard how on July 23 Royle had been returning from a holiday with family in the Lake District. Just before 3pm on the day he was driving a Nissan Juke on the A5092 near Gawthwaite when he attempted the overtake. Coming the other way was Ms Walsh, who slammed on her brakes and tried to veer out the way of the car, but was faced with a grass verge next to the road.

She then collided with the front of the car. The court was told Ms Walsh broke her ankle in the incident. In a victim impact statement read in court, Ms Walsh said she was about to start a new job after the incident but could not accept it due to her injury.

She said the incident had affected her mentally and 'whenever I'm walking close to a road it gives me anxiety'. The court was told Royle, of Chapel Lane, Longton, was driving back to work, to see to an issue with paying staff.  Mitigating, Harriet Lavin said: "He's not somebody who drives around recklessly in his day to day life.

"This really was a momentary lapse of judgement on his behalf." She said there was a 'realistic' prospect of rehabilitation. Passing sentence, Recorder Paul Hodgkinson said: "You made a dangerous and selfish decision of prioritising getting back to work over and above the safety of other road users and your own family in the car.

"You attempted to carry out a dangerous overtaking maneuver whilst behind a HGV.

"You had absolutely no idea what traffic was coming over that hill."

The judge sentenced Royle to eight months in prison, but suspended the sentence.