A SUPERMARKET HGV driver has gone on trial accused of causing the death of an 89-year-old pedestrian by careless driving.
Derrick Bell, who lived with his wife in Harrogate, died in hospital a few days after suffering multiple injuries in a collision with Robert Cottrell’s articulated Asda lorry.
Mr Bell had been using a wheeled walking frame to cross Station Parade in Harrogate in September 2011 when he was knocked to the ground and run over by the lorry.
Prosecutor Nicholas Barker told Bradford Crown court yesterday that Cottrelll, of Highfield, Slaithwaite, said after the collision that he had not seen Mr Bell.
Mr Bell had one of his legs amputated above the knee while he was in hospital and in a conversation with his police officer son he said had crossed in front of the stationary Asda lorry.
The officer noted down that his father added: “It caught me on the right shoulder when I was nearly across... don’t blame the driver, he mustn’t have seen me. I don’t know why.”
Cottrell, 52, who has held a HGV licence for about two decades, told police he considered himself to be a careful driver.
He said he taken the vehicle from the Asda depot in Leeds to Harrogate that afternoon and said he was being alert for cyclists and pedestrians in the slow-moving traffic.
Cottrell said he had stopped at a ‘keep clear’ box on Station Parade and waited for the traffic ahead to start moving again.
He said he had been checking his mirrors and moved off slowly allowing another pedestrian in a green T-shirt to cross in front of his lorry.
Cottrell said he than heard a thud and saw the wheeled walking frame at the side of his vehicle.
The court heard that the lorry was fitted with a mirror which allowed the driver to see what was directly in front of his vehicle, but Cottrell said he had not used it because the other pedestrian in the green T-shirt was within in his field of vision.
Mr Barker said a collision investigator had estimated that Mr Bell would have been in the carriage way for around six seconds before the impact and another motorist had seen him on the roadside.
He alleged that Cottrell’s admission that he had not seen Mr Bell at all was evidence that he wasn’t taking sufficient care.
Cottrell has pleaded not guilty to causing death by driving without due care and attention.
The trial continues.