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Biker Matthew Day killed in A10 Southery crash with car driven by Mikayla Hayes was ‘there to be seen’, Norwich Crown Court told





A crash investigator told a court that a motorcyclist who was killed after a US servicewoman emerged from a junction in front of him was “there to be seen”.

Airman first class Mikayla Hayes, 25, drove her Honda Accord into the path of father-of-one Matthew Day on August 26 last year as he travelled south along the A10 at Southery.

The 33-year-old’s Yamaha motorbike struck her car and he died of his injuries later that day.

Mikayla Hayes is on trial accused for causing death by dangerous driving. Picture: PA
Mikayla Hayes is on trial accused for causing death by dangerous driving. Picture: PA

Hayes, who had been travelling from RAF Lakenheath to her home in Downham, had emerged from the B1160 Lynn Road turning right onto the A10.

She denies causing Mr Day’s death by careless driving, and told police she did not see him.

PC Lee Smart, a forensic collision investigator with Norfolk Police, told Norwich Crown Court: “It would certainly seem he was there to be seen.”

Matthew Day, 33, who died of his injuries after the crash in Southery, near Downham Market, Norfolk (Family handout/PA)
Matthew Day, 33, who died of his injuries after the crash in Southery, near Downham Market, Norfolk (Family handout/PA)

He said the cause of the collision was the “failure to identify the motorbike approaching the junction, then the Honda emerging into the southbound lane”.

Mr Smart said that hedgerow along Lynn Road stopped 15 metres before the carriageway of the A10.

Prosecutor Rachel Scott said Hayes told police, when asked why she did not see the bike, that it did not have lights and “appeared to blend with the road and sky”.

Flowers were left at the side of the A10 at Southery, Norfolk at the site of the collision (Sam Russell/PA)
Flowers were left at the side of the A10 at Southery, Norfolk at the site of the collision (Sam Russell/PA)

Mr Smart said that the type of headlight on the motorbike meant “if the engine’s running and the headlight’s working the headlight should illuminate”.

He said the view for a motorist waiting at the junction would include the “grey-coloured road surface on which the white lines were painted, and hedgerow”.

“At no point would the backdrop be the sky,” he said.

He estimated Mr Day’s speed at 50mph but cautioned that he had “nothing to calculate that accurately from – it’s from the information in the witness statements”.

Matthew Day, 33, died in the collision on the A10 at Southery. Picture: Norfolk Police
Matthew Day, 33, died in the collision on the A10 at Southery. Picture: Norfolk Police

Asked by Ms Scott about points of disagreement with an expert witness instructed by the defence, Mr Smart said: “I think essentially the main thing we disagree on is whether Mr Day reacted slowly to the Honda emerging from the junction.”

He said defence expert witness Robert Wagstaff “thought it was slower than a rider should have reacted”.

“My view differed,” said Mr Smart.

He said he did not believe there was “sufficient evidence to say he reacted slowly”.

The officer said the distance between the motorbike and the car when the car emerged is not known with “any certainty”.

He said that at that moment, Mr Day “could be paying attention to the driver in the slip road, checking his mirrors, looking at his speed”.

He said Mr Day may have been checking to see whether any oncoming vehicles were indicating to turn right into Lynn Road.

“If he was doing so that would have delayed his reaction time,” he said.

Eyewitness Graeme Pratt earlier told the trial that he saw the front of the bike dip before the collision, adding: “I’m presuming the rider grabbed the front brake – I watched the front of the bike dip, which is normally pulling the front brake.”

The trial continues.



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