Biker died due to a ‘horrible chain of events’

Robert 'Jacko' Giacopazzi, who owned the Prince of Wales in Bognor Regis and died on August 25, 2013
Robert 'Jacko' Giacopazzi, who owned the Prince of Wales in Bognor Regis and died on August 25, 2013

A TRAGEDY took place at a Climping junction because of a ‘horrible chain of events’, a court has heard.

Motorcyclist Robert Giacopazzi ‘paid the ultimate price’ when he was fatally injured in a collision on the A259 between Bognor Regis and Littlehampton on August 25, 2013.

Dawn Devine, 55, of Wish Field Drive, Felpham, is on trial for causing his death by careless driving, a charge she denies.

Chichester Crown court heard that Mrs Devine was pulling out of a junction, coming from the B2233 Yapton Road and turning right onto the A259 Crookthorn Lane, near the Oystercatcher public house, when the collision took place.

Mr Giacopazzi, 48, a landlord of the Prince of Wales public house in Bognor who was known as ‘Jacko’, died at the scene.

Philip Crank was driving his white Vauxhall Vivaro van immediately behind Mrs Devine’s maroon Vauxhall Corsa when the collision took place.

Mr Crank told the court: “Unfortunately I did see a motorcycle because I was in an elevated position (in the van) so I could see over the foliage and signage and I saw the motorcycle coming towards the junction and in front of me I saw the vehicle (Mrs Devine’s) move.

“I could see what was going to happen. I could see a collision was going to be inevitable.” He added: “I am convinced she didn’t see him.”

Mr Crank said he thought that a number of factors had contributed to Mr Giacopazzi’s death, including low hanging trees and foliage which he said made visibility to the right of the junction, which sweeps round to the right, difficult.

Mr Crank said: “As a motorcyclist I know they can go pretty quick but this motorcyclist (Mr Giacopazzi) wasn’t going any speed.”

He described seeing Mr Giacopazzi go into a skid when he attempted to brake, leave his bike and make contact with the rear tyre of Mrs Devine’s car. Police and an ambulance arrived within minutes but Mr Giacopazzi died at the scene.

“It was a horrible chain of events and sadly someone paid the ultimate price which I’m sorry about,” Mr Crank said.

Earlier the court heard from Steven Storey, a friend of Mr Giacopazzi who was riding behind him at the time of the crash.

Mr Storey said: “It looked like she was travelling at a normal speed and obviously she didn’t see Jacko.”

The trial continues.

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