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Arising out of a fatal accident which occurred on the Great South Road, near Penrose, on the morning of March 28 last William John Henderson, nightwatchman, aged 65, pleaded not guilty when placed upon his trial in the Supreme Court on a charge of negligent driving so as to cause death. Mr. Cleal appeared for the Crown and Mr. Horrocks for the accused, the trial being heard before Mr. Justice Callan.

Mr. Cleal said the accused had had only four months' experience of driving motor cars before the accident. The evidence would show that about 7.50 on the morning of March 28 the accused was driving his car towards Auckland. Approaching in the opposite direction was David Charles Robert Edwards, riding a motor cycle, and at the intersection of Great South Road and Kalmia Street the car and motor cycle came into collision, the motor cyclist being killed. Among other things alleged against the accused, said Mr. Cleal, were that he had cut the corner, had failed to give way to the motor cycle on his right, and had failed to keep a proper look out. That negligence, it was contended, had contributed materially in causing the accident. When interviewed by the | police accused said that -as he approached Kalmia Street he slowed down to about 15 miles an hour and put out his automatic indicator. He saw two cars in front of him but considered he had plenty of time to make the turn. As he was about to turn into Kalmia Street he felt an impact. He pulled up and then saw the motor cyclist lying on the road. Up to that moment he had not seen the motor cyclist at all. Rain had fallen just prior to the accident. Story of Eyewitness Valerie Louise Taylor, said she walking in the Great South Road, and saw the deceased, whom she knew, riding his motor cycle. She was following behind and suddenly, at the intersection of Kalmia Street, a motor car "appeared to come from nowhere" and there was a collision. The motor cycle at the time was proceeding at a moderate speed. Roy Sefton Joseph Mahoney said he was riding a motor cycle about 20 yards behind the deceased, just before the accident. Witness was travelling at about 25 miles an hour and overtaking deceased. When he first saw the motor car it was on the Great South Road and turning into Kalmia Street. Witness thought the deceased's cycle was going straight into the car. He considered deceased should have seen the car.

Did Not See Cyclist

In evidence, accused said that although he had been a licensed driver for only four months he had actually been driving a car for two 3 r ears. He was a very careful driver, so much so that he had placed a cotton-reel under the accelerator so that he could not travel at more than 25 miles an hour. On the morning of the accident rain was falling. As he neared the intersection at Kalmia Street he saw two cars ahead of him. and considered it safe to make the turn into Kalmia Street. He was making the turn slowly when he felt an impact. He first saw the cyclist when he stopped his car.

In answer to Mr. Cle&l 'accused said he had had a car about two years but did not consider he was a proficient driver until about twelve months ago. He could not account for his not seeing the motor-cyclist. Had he seen him the accident would not have happened.

Leslie C. Atwood, motor-engineer, said he examined the damaged car and cycle. He expressed the opinion that the cycle at the time of impact would be travelling at 35 miles an hour.

In answer to Mr. Cleal witness said that 75 per cent of his work was as an insurance assessor. Despite the existence of two witnesses who said the speed of the cycle was about 25 miles an hour, he still held to his opinion that the speed was about 35 miles per hour.

To Mr. Horrocks, witness said he was not an interested party in the case and did not know which insurance company was concerned.

The counsel's address and his Honor's summing up were concluded before the luncheon adjournment.

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Bibliographic details

PENROSE SMASH, Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 174, 25 July 1945

Word Count

PENROSE SMASH Auckland Star, Volume LXXVI, Issue 174, 25 July 1945

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