A LORRY driver had the Lithuanian equivalent of the Jeremy Kyle Show playing in his cab when he ploughed into a cyclist on the A40, an Oxford jury has been told.

Tomas Mikalajunas, 32, was behind the wheel of the HGV on the Witney bypass in the early hours of December 28, 2018, when he ran down cyclist Arunn Niessan Marusaleen.

Despite stopping at the scene and, with a passing motorist, performing CPR until paramedics arrived, they were unable to save the cyclist’s life.

Jurors at Oxford Crown Court were told that a dashboard camera in Mikalajunas’s own lorry captured sound that policework later established was a YouTube video of a Lithuanian TV programme, likened by prosecutor Nigel Obgorne to ‘some type of Jeremy Kyle-type show’.

An HTC mobile phone wired into the vehicle’s radio was being used to play the clip, although it was not possible to say if Mikalajunas was watching the video as well as having the audio playing.

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The trucker was said to have had his main beam off when he struck the back of Mr Marusaleen, who was wearing a dark rucksack with a flashing red light over his reflective tabard.

Giving evidence yesterday, the prosecution’s crash expert, Daniel Henderson, said the cyclist’s red light should have been visible to the driver up to 13 seconds before the collision and the hi-viz tabard would have been visible for ‘a number of seconds’.

He added: “It is a matter for the court to determine at which point that cyclist is conspicuous as a cyclist.”

Opening the Crown’s case on Monday, Mr Ogborne had said: “There are a number of issues which you will no doubt have to decide on in due course and one of them may be did Mr Mikalajunas have sufficient time to see the flashing red light which should have alerted him to the presence of the deceased.

“The prosecution case is that he had between 10 and 13 seconds.

“You will hear other lorry drivers managed to manoeuvre around the deceased.


File image of ambulance on the A40 near Witney Picture: David Fleming

File image of ambulance on the A40 near Witney Picture: David Fleming


“Another issue which you may have to decide in due course was the fact this programme playing on his HTC phone on YouTube, did that distract him – whether that is the audio, a combination of the audio and the video or simply the nature of the programme itself?

“The prosecution say that, after hearing all the evidence in this case, you will satisfy yourselves so you are sure that Mr Mikalajunas’s driving fell far below what one would expect from a competent and careful driver and it would have been obvious to a competent and careful driver that driving in the manner he did was dangerous.”

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Under cross examination from Mikalajunas’s barrister yesterday, prosecution crash expert Mr Henderson was played video footage from the dash cam in the cab, showing the minutes leading up to the fatal crash.

His suggestion that Mr Marusaleen’s flashing back light was visible on the video 13 seconds before the collision was questioned by the lawyer. He conceded that the law specified that a cyclist’s back light should be fixed to the bike.


File image of the A40 Witney bypass Picture: GOOGLE

File image of the A40 Witney bypass Picture: GOOGLE


As the light was destroyed in the crash, it had not been possible to establish its make or model. The power – or lumens – of a red light used in a police reconstruction had not been recorded, the jury heard.

Mikalajunas, of Baycliff Close in Barnsley, South Yorkshire, denies charges of causing death by dangerous and careless driving.

The trial continues.