81-year-old on trial for cyclist’s death

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An 81-year-old driver caused the death of a veteran cyclist when he strayed over the centre white line while turning off a main road, a jury at Lincoln Crown Court was told on Monday.

Walter Coupland is alleged to have knocked down Ken Usher while turning off Broadgate on to Parsons Lane at Whaplode Drove.

Robert Underwood, prosecuting, told a jury at Lincoln Crown Court that an accident investigator who examined the scene afterwards came to the conclusion that Mr Usher was riding his three-wheeled machine on his correct side of the road when he was struck by a car driven by Coupland.

Mr Underwood told the jury: “Ken Usher was blameless. The cause of the collision was the careless driving of the defendant.

“He drove his car across the centre line road markings and as a consequence he struck Ken Usher. We say his driving fell below the standard to be expected of a careful and competent driver.”

Residents of a nearby house raised the alarm and although paramedics and the air ambulance were called to the scene Mr Usher died almost instantly from his injuries.

The 77-year-old , who lived in Dowsdale, Crowland, was a lifelong cyclist and was still regularly riding his three-wheeler up to the time of his death.

Coupland, who was driving from his home in Spalding to visit relatives in the village of Throckenholt, later denied he had crossed over into the wrong carriageway and caused the collision.

Walter Coupland, 81, of Winsover Road, Spalding, denies causing the death of Mr Usher by careless driving on February 3, 2012.

The trial continues.