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Defendant denies speeding at time of crash

A woman charged with causing the crash that killed Kerry Hollis told the Supreme Court yesterday the collision was an accident.

Collisha Burch, 31, also denied that she had used cannabis before the crash and that she had lost control of her car because she was speeding.

Ms Burch told the court: “I don't know if she came into my lane. I cannot say.

“My car evidentially ended up on the other side.”

Ms Burch told Larissa Burgess, the Crown counsel: “We collided. It was an accident.”

Ms Burgess said: “There was no accident if you were travelling above the speed limit and going into her lane.”

Ms Hollis, a 38-year-old mother of two, died after a crash on Middle Road, Southampton, near Five Star Island last September.

The court heard that Ms Hollis was riding a motorcycle east on her way to work, and Ms Burch was driving west.

Ms Burch has denied causing the death of Ms Hollis by driving with a dangerous drug in her system and causing death by careless driving.

She told the court that she was not sure on what side of the road the crash happened.

She denied that she had used cannabis before the crash, although the drug was found in her system in a later blood test.

Ms Burch said traces of the drug can remain in a person's body for months after the drug was used.

She added: “It was from prior to the accident, not during. I was not impaired.”

Ms Burgess suggested Ms Burch had lied to police about using the drug because she was afraid it would get her in trouble.

Ms Burch said: “No. I willingly gave them my blood and everything.”

She added she had not told police in an interview that she smoked cannabis because it was “none of their business”.

Ms Burch added: “I told them I wasn't impaired.”

She also told the court that she had not used cannabis at all since the collision.

The court earlier heard evidence from Sergeant Olasunkanmi Akinmola, a police crash expert, who said the collision happened in the eastbound lane.

Sergeant Akinmola said the evidence suggested Ms Burch lost control of her car because she drove too fast through a nearby bend and crossed the yellow line.

He said he had found the critical curve speed, the maximum speed a vehicle can negotiate the turn without losing control, was between 53.2km/h and 62km/h.

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

The trial continues.

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Published September 19, 2018 at 9:00 am (Updated September 19, 2018 at 8:56 am)

Defendant denies speeding at time of crash

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