Lorry driver denies causing grandfather's death

Date: Monday 12th August 2019

A LORRY driver accused of causing the death of a grandfather by dangerous driving following a crash on the A66 has appeared in court.

Rhys Gardiner (24), Old Hall Road, near Bentley, Doncaster, was charged in the aftermath of a collision involving two lorries close to Crackenthorpe, between Appleby and Kirkby Thore, which occurred at around 5-40am on Tuesday, 3rd April, last year.

Timothy Harkness, aged 72, from Carlisle, who was driving one of the two vehicles, died in the collision.

Gardiner appeared at Carlisle Crown Court earlier today. During a hearing in front of Judge David Potter which lasted less than 10 minutes — and which was attended by members of Mr Harkness's family — Gardiner pleaded not guilty to one charge which alleges that he caused the death of Mr Harkness by the dangerous driving of a Mercedes Actros HGV.

A trial — estimated to last two days — is set to take place at the crown court in the week of 25th November.

In the meantime Gardiner was granted unconditional bail by Judge Potter.

Following Mr Harkness's death, his family said in a tribute: "Tim was a loving husband, father and grandfather. Well-loved by all his friends and colleagues for his quick wit and cheeky sense of humour. He had a love of horse racing and enjoyed life."