Farmer, 83, cleared of Horningtops death crash

Car involved in crash
Image caption The crash, in April 2010, happened at the Horningtops junction near Liskeard

An 83-year-old dairy farmer from Cornwall has been cleared of causing the death of a 20-year-old man.

Richard Neale, from Torpoint, died after his Vauxhall car was in collision with a Land Rover on the A38 near Liskeard in April last year.

Edward Ward, of Tempellow Farm, Horningtops had denied causing death by dangerous driving.

The judge at Truro Crown Court said it had been an "anxious, worrying, sad and tragic case".

Accident black spot

Mr Neale, a worker on the Torpoint Ferry, was airlifted to Derriford Hospital in Plymouth after the crash but died later from his injuries.

The jury was told Mr Neale had purchased his Vauxhall Astra GTE sports hatch just three days before the fatal crash.

Witnesses said it appeared to be travelling at more than 100mph (161km/h) when it was in collision with Mr Ward's Land Rover Freelander which was turning across Mr Neale's path on to the B3252.

During the three-day trial, the jury was taken to the Horningtops junction where the fatal crash happened.

Motor PC Jonathan Field told the court the junction was, in his opinion, "not safe".

He said there was no speed limit and some vehicles travelled "extremely fast" coming around the bend.

Another motor PC, Gary Looker, said the junction was a notorious accident black spot.

Giving evidence, Mr Ward said he had lived at Tempellow Farm for 46 years and had used the Horningtops junction every day.

Licence surrendered

"You have to take a lot of care to cross into the Looe road because of traffic coming around the bend and up the hill in the fast lane," he said.

"I was looking all the time and did not see any car approaching."

He said if he had seen a car coming he would have waited and not attempted to cross.

Mr Ward was seriously injured in the crash, suffering a broken sternum, broken ribs, pelvis fractures and a bleed in his brain.

He said the accident had completely altered his life and he had made the decision to surrender his driving licence.

"Because of a bang on my head I do not feel I can be in complete control of the car," he said.

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