A father-of-two was killed after his motorbike was struck by a JCB telescopic loader, a court heard.
Craig Foster, from Accrington, was riding his Kawasaki motorbike along Blackburn Road in Simonstone when the JCB travelling in the opposite direction turned right ‘across his path’ to enter Seaways Services.
Burnley Crown Court heard that Mr Foster, a car restorer, had ‘insufficient time to stop’, collided with the JCB and died at the scene.
Harry Shaw, 20, of Blackburn Road, Simonstone, is set to face jail after pleading guilty to causing death by careless driving following the incident on March 23 last year.
Peter Horgan, prosecuting, told the court that there were no defects on Mr Foster’s bike and he was ‘in no way to blame for any accident’.
The court heard that the bike was travelling at around the 40mph speed limit and Mr Foster had applied ‘heavy braking’, causing a 14m long skid mark. Mr Horgan said the mark ended 5m before the collision because ‘the braking must have been so hard the rear wheel lifted off the ground’.
Mr Horgan added that ‘it is highly likely that the sun was in a position whereby it would affect the view ahead’ for Mr Foster and he ‘may not have seen the JCB commence its turn immediately’.
The court heard that Shaw was using the JCB to transport manure from a friend’s house and CCTV footage showed the ‘boom and the bucket’ on the JCB being raised along the road shortly before he turned right towards the entrance of the firm.
Shaw later told police this was to allow him to push the gates open with his front tyres.
Mr Horgan said: “It is the Crown’s case that when the defendant commenced his right turn his view ahead was clearly obstructed by the bucket to such a degree that the motorcyclist could not be seen.”
However, Anthony Cross QC, defending, said that was ‘not the basis on which this defendant has pleaded guilty’.
He said: “He does not accept the bucket was obscuring his view as he commenced that turn.
“We make it perfectly clear that it was right that the bucket head was found to be at that height when the investigation was made, but that it was not at that height when the turn was made.”
Judge Beverley Lunt will hold a trial of the issue hearing at a later date before passing sentence.