Bride's mother ‘would have been highly visible' before fatal collision with hotelier's car

13 September 2023 by
Bride's mother ‘would have been highly visible' before fatal collision with hotelier's car

The mother of a bride-to-be "would have been highly visible" to a hotelier before he ran her over outside the Coniston Hotel and Spa, an ergonomics expert has told a jury.

Judith Wadsworth had been crossing an access road outside the hotel near Skipton, North Yorkshire, on 7 February 2020 when she was hit by a Range Rover being driven by its owner and managing director, Nicholas Bannister, Bradford Crown Court has heard.

Wadsworth, 66, had arrived at the hotel ahead of her daughter's wedding, which was due to take place the next day, and was walking from the car park to the main reception when she was struck by the car.

The jury has heard that Bannister had driven a short distance from the front of the hotel and is estimated to have been travelling between 9mph and 12mph at the time.

Today (Wednesday 13 September) ergonomics expert Dr David Usher told the jury he had examined all the available evidence to assess the "conspicuity" of both Wadsworth to Bannister and the Range Rover to Wadsworth.

He told the jury: "In my opinion she would have been highly visible throughout Mr Bannister's approach to the crossing, had he been looking at her."

Usher was asked about the influence of the A-pillar of the Range Rover, which is the main support between the windscreen and driver's side window.

The expert said he believes it is "not credible" that the structure could have obscured Bannister's view of Wadsworth throughout the time she was walking from the car park to the point of impact.

He also stressed it is a "natural part of driving" for a motorist to move their head to compensate for a visual obstruction.

Lisa Judge, defending, asked Usher if it is possible that Wadsworth was distracted as she walked between the car park and the hotel, making the final preparations for her daughter's wedding.

The expert told the jury: "We have no evidence to suggest that she was."

Judge responded: "We have no evidence to suggest that she wasn't."

The expert said "the likelihood was that she wasn't" but agreed with the barrister that it was possible.

Yesterday a witness to the collision told the court that Bannister had said "I didn't see her" in the immediatly after the collision.

Bannister, of Bell Busk, near Skipton, denies causing death by driving without due care and attention.

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