'I never saw cyclist I hit' death crash driver tells jury

The Oxford Times: Jonathan Ashworth Jonathan Ashworth

A DRINK driver who fatally hit a teenage cyclist told jurors the first thing he noticed was his windscreen suddenly smashing.

Jonathan Ashworth denies causing the death of 18-year-old Tom Kahl by careless driving while over the alcohol limit.

The 55-year-old, who was driving a borrowed Range Rover on the A4260 near Thrupp after midnight on July 10 last year, had 112 milligrams of alcohol in 100ml of urine.

The legal limit is 107 milligrams.

Giving evidence at Oxford Crown Court yesterday , Ashworth, from Shipton-on-Cherwell, near Bicester, said: “There was an all-mighty thumping sound and my windscreen suddenly became opaque and it was obvious something hit it.”

Ashworth admitted taking a line of cocaine more than 24 hours before the crash, but denied it had any effect.

He said he had drunk “a maximum of two and a half glasses of wine over the entire evening, which to me I felt was within my limit that it wouldn’t affect me”.

Crash investigators said Mr Kahl, who was listening to his iPod as he crossed the road without lights on his bike, would have been visible in dipped headlights about 34 to 35 metres away or up to 143m in full-beam lights, but said these figures were obtained from reconstructions in which the driver was expecting to see someone.

Motorist Hayley Hoy told jurors she came across the immediate aftermath and spoke to Mr Kahl’s friends Ben Fouracre and Lewis Charlett.

She said Mr Fouracre told Ashworth “It wasn’t your fault, it wasn’t your fault.”

The trial continues.

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