AN HGV driver accused of causing the death of an 89-year-old pedestrian by careless driving has told a jury he felt “gutted’’ about what had happened to the deceased and his family.
Slaithwaite man Robert Cottrell, who has held a HGV licence for more than 20 years, told Bradford Crown Court yesterday that nothing like the incident had happened to him before and he only had nine points on his licence for three speeding offences during his driving career.
Cottrell, 51, of Highfield, has denied driving without due care and attention at the time he collided with former publican Derrick Bell in September 2011.
The pensioner had been crossing Station Parade in Harrogate with the aid of a walking frame when he was knocked down by Cottrell’s articulated Asda lorry.
Cottrell told the jury how he had been moving slowly in traffic and had allowed another male pedestrian to cross in front of his lorry before starting to accelerate.
He said he then heard a thud and when he looked in one of his wing mirrors he could see the blue walking frame which he initially thought was a bicycle.
Cottrell maintained that he had not seen Mr Bell on the pavement or crossing the road.
Although the 89-year-old suffered multiple injuries in the collision he was conscious when Cottrell got out of his vehicle.
Cottrell told the court that he did say sorry to the pensioner and held his hand after the collision.
Mr Bell died in hospital several days after being knocked down.
The trial continues.