A driver has been locked up for causing the death of father-of-two Craig Foster.
Harry Shaw, a young farmer, ‘did not pay sufficient attention to the road ahead’ when turning his JCB, a court heard.
Craig Foster, 42, from Accrington, was riding his orange Kawasaki motorbike along Blackburn Road in Simonstone when the JCB, driven by Harry Shaw in the opposite direction, turned right to enter Seaways Services.
Burnley Crown Court heard how Shaw had raised the JCB’s telescopic loader for between 2.2 and 3.5 seconds while travelling along the road and didn’t see Mr Foster before performing the turn.
Shaw, 20, of Blackburn Road, Simonstone, pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving and was sent to a young offenders institute for 10 months and disqualified from driving for 18 months.
Peter Horgan, prosecuting, told the court how Shaw, who was 18 at the time, was originally charged with causing death by dangerous driving, but this was dropped after a case review.
The court heard how Shaw had raised the boom on the JCB to allow him to push open an unlocked gate with the wheels.
In his basis of plea Shaw said he raised the boom to a height which ‘gave him an unobstructed view of the road ahead and a view of the gate in which he intended to turn’.
Mr Horgan said when officers attended the scene they found the bucket was actually ‘at a height which obscured his view’.
However Shaw told police in interview that he had ‘knocked’ the boom joystick when he turned off the JCB’s ignition causing it to ‘drop about six inches’.
Mr Horgan said: “The defendant accepts he did not pay sufficient attention to the road ahead but concentrated on the manoeuvre.”
Anthony Cross QC, defending, said Shaw’s explanation for the lower height of the boom after the incident was ‘not a tale being told to avoid the consequence of the science but simply someone explaining something that actually occurred’.
In an earlier hearing the court was told that Mr Foster, who previously worked at Accrington Market Hall and was formerly a partner at Accrington Beetles and Vans, was travelling home at around the 40mph speed limit on March 23 when the collision happened.
Mr Horgan said Mr Foster had ‘insufficient time to stop’ and it’s ‘highly likely’ the sun was in a position to ‘affect the view ahead’.