A young woman accused of causing the death of her sister in a car crash was in tears yesterday as she told a jury how their brother died serving in Afghanistan months before the incident.
Rosie-Ann Stone, 21, took to the witness box to describe how Jennie Stone, 28, died when her blue Peugeot 206 car hit a tree next to the A165, near the village of Fraisthorpe, in East Yorkshire, on February 18 last year.
Wiping away tears from time to time, Stone explained how she was in her own car and had pulled out to overtake a slow-moving lorry when she felt the car collide with another vehicle, which “skimmed” her Vauxhall Astra.
She said she suddenly “twigged” it was her sister driving the other car.
Moments later, Stone told the jury at Hull Crown Court, Jennie’s car veered in front of the lorry and crashed into a tree.
The jury has heard how both sisters were in a queue of traffic behind the lorry shortly before the crash with Rosie-Ann, a number of cars ahead of her sister in the line.
The cars came together when they both attempted to pass the truck. Witnesses have told the court how Jennie’s car clipped a barrier on the far side of the road after the initial impact and she then lost control of the vehicle.
Stone – who denies causing her sister’s death by careless driving – began giving her evidence on the third day of her trial by answering questions from her barrister Patrick Palmer about her family.
She had to stop briefly to compose herself as she explained through her tears how her brother Greg was killed while serving with the British Army in Afghanistan in June 2012. Private Gregg Stone, of the 3rd Battalion, The Yorkshire Regiment, was shot while on active service.
His sister told the court how all her family, including her parents and her surviving three brothers, were in court to support her.
And she explained to the jury how they were all wearing red jackets given to the family by her brother’s colleagues in Burma Company to remember him.
“My brother Greg was in the Yorkshire Regiment, an infantry soldier in Burma Company,” Stone told the jury.
“It’s the company jacket. He was never without his. He wore it all the time. When he died his comrades donated their jackets in memory of him to the family. We’ve all got one.”
Asked by Mr Palmer about her sister, Jennie, Stone said: “She was like a mum to me when we were younger.
“As we got older we were inseparable.”
She said they were “incredibly close”.
Stone then explained how she had driven her sister’s son Charlie, now 10, to school in Skipsea earlier that morning with Jennie also in the car.
The hearing was adjourned until this morning.