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Expert: woman was speeding before fatal crash

A collision investigator told a Supreme Court jury yesterday that the car that killed mother of two Kerry Hollis lost control because the driver was going too fast on a wet road.

Collisha Burch, 31, from Warwick, has denied causing Ms Hollis's death by driving while under the influence of a dangerous drug and causing death by careless driving.

Sergeant Olasunkanmi Akinmola, a police crash expert, told the court Ms Hollis was riding a motorcycle east on Middle Road near Five Star Island in Southampton on the morning of the crash and Ms Burch was driving a car west.

He said: “The evidence gathered at the scene suggests that this collision occurred in the eastbound lane, the lane going towards the city, the lane of the motorcycle rider.

“The collision occurred when the driver of the motor car lost control of the vehicle as it was negotiating a right-hand bend.”

Sergeant Akinmola added the car skidded across the centre line and struck a wall on the other side of the road and Ms Hollis was unable to avoid a collision.

He said: “The facts suggest that the driver of the motor car lost control of the vehicle as a result of driving too fast for the prevailing road conditions.”

The incident happened last September.

Sergeant Akinmola told the court he attempted to measure the critical curve speed of the bend — the maximum speed a vehicle could travel without loss of control.

Sergeant Akinmola said he made two sets of measurements, which found the critical curve speed was between 53.2km/h and 62km/h.

He added he had gone to the area in similar conditions to measure the speed of motorists negotiating the bend and the top speed he recorded was 52km/h.

Sergeant Akinmola said that the roads were wet on the morning of the crash, which would have made it easier for a driver to lose control.

But Marc Daniels, Ms Burch's defence lawyer, suggested the car having passed into the opposite lane on a right-hand bend showed the car was travelling at below the critical curve speed.

Sergeant Akinmola said that was not the case.

He said: “Fifty-three kph was my minimum. She would have had to have been driving above that.”

Mr Daniels also suggested that oil or diesel on the road from a nearby construction site might have played a part in the crash.

But Sergeant Akinmola said: “They were not a factor. The conditions were not there at the time, so I didn't need to mention them.”

The trial continues.

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Published September 18, 2018 at 9:00 am (Updated September 18, 2018 at 8:15 am)

Expert: woman was speeding before fatal crash

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