A teenage motorist accused of causing a double fatal crash this afternoon (Tues) admitted to a jury that he had only one hand off the steering wheel when the tragedy occurred.
Aaron Baker told the jury at Lincoln Crown Court that he had no memory of the collision on the A1104 near Alford which left his friend Matthew Ellis, 16, dead along with Jean Thomas, 70, a front seat passenger in an oncoming car.
Giving evidence on the second day of his trial Baker said could recall nothing after his Vauxhall Corsa went onto the nearside verge.
He told the jury: “I don’t recall the events leading up to the crash. All I can remember is the car going onto the verge and a bright white light and I was cut out of the car. I can’t remember why the car left the carriageway.”
The prosecution claim that Baker lost control of his vehicle due to carelessness and after going onto the verge he over-corrected the steering sending his car into the opposite lane colliding head-on with an oncoming car.
Baker said he was driving with only one hand on the steering wheel because “it felt comfortable” but under cross-examination he admitted he would have failed his driving test if he had steered using just one hand.
He added: “I admit I was driving carelessly but I don’t think it was my fault fully.”
Baker denied he did not have enough sleep on the previous evening and when asked about a post he put on Facebook claiming he only had four hours sleep he replied: “It wasn’t true. It was a childish macho thing that I truly regret. I wasn’t tired.”
He said he actually had six hours sleep and felt refreshed after a shower and breakfast before setting off with his friends for a day out at the coast.
Baker told the jury that he felt “gutted” that two people had died in the collision. He said “Its depressing thinking about it to this day.”
He said he was seriously injured himself in the collision and later underwent 14 hours of surgery before spending a week in intensive care at the Queens Medical Centre in Nottingham. He suffered fractures to his leg, femur, jaw and collarbone as well as damage to his right eye.
The jury heard that Baker passed his driving test on 31 January, just 11 weeks before the collision, and had also attained his “pass-plus” award. He had a black box fitted to his vehicle which recorded his journeys and speed. Analysis showed he consistently drove well below the speed limit and friends regarded him as a safe driver.
Aaron Baker, 18, of Steeping Court, Lincoln, denies two charges of causing death by careless driving on April 18, 2014. The trial continues.
This is an ongoing trial in front of a jury. Comments discretion is advised.