South West Wales

Carmarthen death crash accused lost unborn baby

Swansea Crown Court Image copyright PA

A witness to a crash which killed a man and an unborn baby told a court he was "bitterly sorry" he could not do more to help them.

Laura Matthews-James, 25, was seven months pregnant when her Fiat 500 collided head on with Robert Hitchcock's car on 26 February 2016.

She denies causing death by driving without due care and attention after the crash on the B4300 near Carmarthen.

Swansea Crown Court heard she overtook two vehicles in one go before crashing.

Andrew Morgan, who was driving behind Ms Matthews-James, said: "The car did get back in, completed the manoeuvre.

"Quite instantaneously [it] shot some mud up from the verge like a plume and shot back across the road into the path of the oncoming car.

"As a result of the mud, it appeared to lose control and jettisoned across the road."

'I tried everything'

Ms Matthews-James was on her way to work at Glangwili Hospital in Carmarthen when the crash happened.

Prosecutor Jim Davies told the jury Mr Hitchcock was "probably instantaneously" killed by the impact.

The accused was also seriously injured and had to be airlifted to hospital.

Mr Morgan, who went to help after the crash said: "I am bitterly sorry I could not do more. I went to the second car, I tried everything I could, I am sorry."

Peter Jennings, a road traffic collision investigation expert, said the speedometer in the Fiat had been frozen at 56mph.

He told the court that would be a "fairly accurate" indication of the speed the car was doing at the time of impact and "certainly suggests the car was not exceeding the speed limit".

He said the speed of Mr Hitchcock's Citroen C3 would probably have been broadly similar and it was "certainly in its correct lane".

The trial continues.