Trial of driver accused of killing Hartlepool pensioner is delayed by coronavirus

The trial of a motorist accused of killing a pensioner following a collision on a notorious road has been adjourned following the coronavirus outbreak.

Thursday, 23rd April 2020, 11:34 am
Updated Sunday, 26th April 2020, 5:24 pm

Grandfather Raymond Parkinson, 77, from Hartlepool, died at the scene of the crash on the A66, close to the Fox Hall Inn, near Richmond, North Yorkshire, nearly two-and-a-half years ago.

Catalin Aurel Nicolae, 35, of Westwood Crescent, Hamilton, in Scotland, denied a charge of causing death by careless driving at York Crown Court last September and was bailed to face a jury trial at the same court earlier this week.

The court, however, has been closed following the onset of the covid-19 pandemic although several of its cases have been transferred to court centres still sitting in Leeds.

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The fatal collision took place on the A66, near the Fox Hall Inn, outside Richmond, North Yorkshire, in 2017.

A spokeswoman for the Crown Prosecution Service has now confirmed that Nicolae’s trial, which was due to begin on Monday, April 20, has been adjourned until an as yet undecided date later this year.

Mr Parkinson, described as “a deeply thoughtful and considerate man”, died following the collision at 3.26pm on Sunday, November 26, 2017.

The road closed in both directions for more than 90 minutes as emergency services dealt with the incident’s aftermath.

The fatal smash involved a white Renault Premium HGV truck, a silver Seat Ibiza and a black Nissan Qashqai.

Nicolae, said to be the driver of the HGV, was arrested in connection with Mr Parkinson’s death and released under investigation while lengthy inquiries continued.

He was eventually charged in 2019 and made his first appearance in court before York magistrates in July last year.

An obituary in the Hartlepool Mail shortly after Mr Parkinson's death described the pensioner, who was driving the Qashqai at the time of the crash, as “a deeply thoughtful and considerate man who touched so many people's lives in Hartlepool and Middlesbrough”.

The A66 between Scotch Corner and Penrith is regarded as one of the country's most dangerous routes because of its mix of single and dual lanes and its exposure to extreme weather.

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