York & North Yorkshire

Lady Susan Zetland 'ignored signs' before three-vehicle smash

Lady Susan Zetland and her husband the 4th Marquess of Zetland Image copyright PA
Image caption Lady Susan Zetland (left) appeared at Teesside Crown Court

An aristocrat caused a three-vehicle crash after ignoring signs which said a turning on to a busy highway was closed, a jury heard.

Lady Susan Zetland was driving to the gym when she tried to turn right at the Hargill junction of the A66, near Scotch Corner, in North Yorkshire.

Teesside Crown Court heard there were signs warning motorists the turning was closed and cones preventing it.

Lady Zetland, of Aske Hall, near Richmond, denies dangerous driving.

The 77-year-old admitted causing the crash between her vehicle, a car and a truck on 4 July, but maintains her driving had been careless rather than meeting the threshold for being dangerous.

Prosecutor Paul Newcombe told the court the marchioness had already almost hit a lorry when she tried to pull out, but immediately tried again.

'Far below' standard

Her actions caused a Nissan Qashqai to smash into the side of her vehicle, which caused her to spin across the carriageway where she was hit by a truck.

Mr Newcombe said the wife of Lawrence Mark Dundas, the 4th Marquess of Zetland, admitted she "did not keep a proper look out for traffic".

Dashcam footage from the Qashqai, which showed her £30,000 Subaru narrowly missing the HGV before pulling out into the road, was shown to the jury.

"It's not just a case of careless driving but driving that falls far below that of a competent driver," said Mr Newcombe.

Rod Hunt, defending, said two of the signs on the A66 approach were incorrect as they stated there was no access to the road and one of the cones was missing, leaving a gap.

Giving evidence, Lady Zetland said she thought she was allowed to drive straight across the carriageway because she had seen a van do so.

She also said she saw no signs stating a contraflow traffic system was in operation.

The trial continues.

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