THE fatal injuries suffered by a cyclist following a crash with an articulated lorry were revealed to a jury.

Richard Merris denies causing death by dangerous driving after his HGV struck two cyclists on the A449 at Hartlebury, killing one and seriously injuring the other. Barry Brettell was pronounced dead at the scene on October 22, 2018 while his friend, William Higgins, was also seriously injured.

The defendant, 50, also denies causing death by careless driving and causing serious injury by dangerous driving at Worcester Crown Court.

The cyclists and Merris had been travelling southbound on the A449 towards Worcester when the crash happened shortly before 11am. It was sunny day and both cyclists had been wearing helmets and light-coloured or fluorescent clothing. Mr Brettell's post-mortem revealed 'extensive, multiple rib fractures', a fracture of the thoracic spine, 'catastrophic' haemorrhaging around the ribs and throat injuries including bruising to the larynx and a fracture of the hyoid bone.

The most serious injuries were identified as those to the chest, particularly on the right side. Mr Higgins was treated at Worcestershire Royal Hospital, sustaining a multiple fragmentary fracture of the right scapula. Merris was unharmed.

Merris had been delivering sand on behalf of Rayven Transport, where he was a director, to Hanson's Concrete in Sherriff Street, Worcester.

He had 31 years of driving experience and had no criminal convictions, cautions or reprimands recorded against him. He was interviewed twice by police, the first interview taking place on the day of the crash and the second on February 26 last year.

Merris, who was not speeding, told officers he believed he had left enough room to pass the cyclists as the road changed from a dual to single carriageway. "As I say I haven't really taken much notice -they were just there" he said.

Merris said the men had been cycling in a normal fashion and when he heard the bang he initially thought he had had a tyre blowout. The trial continues.