A LORRY driver involved in a crash which killed one cyclist and seriously injured another denies causing death by dangerous driving.

Richard Merris was behind the wheel of an HGV on the A449 at Hartlebury, travelling towards Worcester, when there was a crash involving his lorry and two cyclists riding in front. The 50-year-old denies causing death by dangerous driving and an alternative count of causing death by careless driving.

His trial continued at Worcester Crown Court yesterday.

Barry Brettell, of Brierley Hill, died at the scene of the crash on October 22, 2018.

Kidderminster Shuttle:

Merris, of Masters Lane, Halesowen, further denies causing serious injury by dangerous driving to William Higgins, a friend of Mr Brettell.

Mr Higgins survived the crash. Footage was recorded on CCTV from a nearby metal yard at 10.55am, and played to the jury.

Mr Brettell was pronounced dead at 12.03pm. Merris was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving at 12.05pm and taken to Worcester Police Station.

The jury yesterday heard from Colin Ward, who was driving his Hyundai i30 immediately behind the lorry on his way to Worcestershire Royal Hospital.

Mr Ward had not seen the cyclists before the crash which happened where the road narrows into single carriageway, estimating he he was 50 to 60ft behind the lorry and driving at around 40 to 50mph.

He said: “As I came up into the single lane section all I heard was a bang. Then I saw some debris falling across the grass.” Mr Ward described how the heavy goods vehicle braked heavily and the wheels started to smoke. As Mr Ward came to a stop he saw two cyclists lying on the grass verge.

Under cross-examination from the defendant’s barrister, Mark Kelly, and after viewing the footage, Mr Ward said: "I was further back than I thought."

He also accepted that Merris had not been driving erratically or speeding and the standard of his driving had not caused him concern.

Refuse company worker Stuart Sullivan was on the opposite side of the carriageway litter-picking when he saw the cyclists and the lorry behind them.

He said they "looked as if they cycled regularly" and were "clearly visible" as they rode in single file.

He described hearing a a bang, seeing both cyclists lying on the grass at the side of the road and hearing the brakes of the lorry "screeching".

Mr Sullivan crossed over to the opposite carriageway to find Mr Higgins, a man he judged to be in his 60s, with a shoulder injury.

He described Mr Brettell as "unresponsive", adding: “He did not look in a good way.”

Kidderminster Shuttle:

Officers also arrived on scene, one describing Mr Higgins as "concussed and very confused".

People stopped to help, patient transport service driver Louis Perry performing CPR on Mr Brettell. Both cyclists had been wearing good quality cycling clothing and helmets, the court heard.

PC David Crofts asked Merris what had happened, taking a note of what the HGV driver said at the scene.

He said Merris told him: “The two of them were parallel and one of them wobbled out.”

Merris told another officer he was driving at 40 to 43mph when he overtook the cyclists, hearing a loud bang from the front of his lorry.

The trial continues.