A MOTORIST accused of causing a Flockton motorcyclist's death by dangerous driving has told a jury how he held the injured man in his arms and told him not to die.
Married Frenchman Remy Lengo, 42, was involved in a head-on collision with Neil Manby's motor scooter as both were travelling to work in the early morning of March 1 last year.
Lengo's Rover car crashed into Mr Manby's machine at Wakefield Road, Lepton, and the 30-year-old Flockton man died later in hospital from his injuries.
A jury at Bradford Crown Court heard Lengo's vehicle was on the wrong side of the road as it approached the brow of a hill.
Lengo maintained yesterday that he had been following a lorry shortly before the collision.
Lengo, of Sholemoor Avenue, Chapeltown, Leeds, described through a French-speaking interpreter how he had been following the container lorry, but it suddenly braked and swerved to the right to avoid a car which had stopped in the middle of the road.
He said he followed the lorry as it overtook the car, but the HGV then accelerated in order to get back into the left hand lane.
"When it got back into the left hand lane I found myself face-to-face with a motorbike," said Lengo.
"It just took a few seconds. It was really a catastrophe and then it was the accident."
He said the motorbike rider was thrown to the right and he was shocked.
Lengo, who works as a team leader at the Bon Marché premises in Grange Moor, said he held Mr Manby in his arms and told him he must not die.
"This is what I kept telling him and I was trying to take his helmet off so that he could speak to me.
"I had my mobile phone with me, but I couldn't even manage to call the police myself."
Lengo said when he looked back to see the car that had stopped in the road it was not there.
The occupants of another car stopped to help and the emergency services attended at the scene.
Lengo, who has no previous convictions or cautions either in this country or France, has denied the charge of causing Mr Manby's death by dangerous driving and he rejected any suggestion that he may have simply forgotten to drive on the left.
He said he could accept that as a possibility if he had been driving for only two months, but he pointed out that he had the Rover for eight months.
During cross-examination by prosecutor Ian Howard, Lengo conceded that the Rover was the first car he had driven since coming to England about three years ago.
But Lengo said he had passed his test when he was about 20 or 22.
The trial continues.