Lorry driver defends himself over death of 82-year-old

PUBLISHED: 16:17 07 January 2020 | UPDATED: 16:17 07 January 2020

Dudley Howe. Photo: Courtesy the family/Norfolk Police

Dudley Howe. Photo: Courtesy the family/Norfolk Police


A lorry driver on trial over the death of an elderly man who was run over said in court he checked his mirrors before the collision.

Police at the scene of the crash that killed Dudley Howe on Station Road in Attleborough       Picture Ian Burt.Police at the scene of the crash that killed Dudley Howe on Station Road in Attleborough Picture Ian Burt.

Simon Rayner told Norwich Crown Court that he had been driving HGVs since 1990 and was fit and had taken regular further training to continue to be an HGV driver.

Rayner, 52, of Abbot Road, Norwich, has denied causing the death by careless driving of Dudley Howe, 82.

Mr Howe was hit by the HGV while crossing Station Road, Attleborough, on Friday, October 6, 2017. He was on his way back from getting his flu jab at his GP surgery, Norwich Crown Court has previously been told.

Giving evidence on Tuesday afternoon, Rayner was asked by Matthew McNiff, defending, whether he was familiar with that road. The defendant said he was.

Rayner was also asked by Mr McNiff whether he was able to see over a van in front of him. He replied that he could.

Rayner told the jury of six men and six women that having checked his mirrors he moved off believing that it was safe to do so.

He was asked if he had seen Mr Howe on the side of the road or about to move off. Rayner said he had not.

Mr McNiff said motorists were told they must "expect at times the unexpected".

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But he asked Rayner if someone standing where there had been no pedestrian island was something he had "commonly experienced".

He said: "No, never."

Peter Gair, prosecuting, in cross examination, put it to Rayner that he had not checked his mirrors, but Rayner insisted he had.

He said: "I did check, I'm sure I did. As a professional driver, thousands of times a day I check them. I have no reason to think I wouldn't have done."

Earlier the court heard extracts read out from Rayner's police interview when he told officers traffic had been "just manic" in Attleborough on that day.

He said he stopped with the rest of the traffic when the level crossing barriers came down.

He said they then went up and traffic started to move.

He told officers he too moved off and "hadn't hardly got rolling" when a driver coming the other way started beeping his horn and said "you've just run someone over".

He said he switched off the lorry and got out and "saw blood" but said everything was "just a blur after that".

The trial continues.

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