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Pensioner killed by lorry as he walked home after having flu jab, court told

PUBLISHED: 14:26 06 January 2020 | UPDATED: 15:23 06 January 2020

Dudley Howe. Photo: Courtesy the family/Norfolk Police

Dudley Howe. Photo: Courtesy the family/Norfolk Police

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Dashcam footage captured the tragic moment a lorry driver ran over and killed an elderly pensioner crossing in front of his vehicle, a court heard.

Police at the scene of a crash involving a lorry and a pedestrian on Station Road in Attleborough. Picture Ian Burt.Police at the scene of a crash involving a lorry and a pedestrian on Station Road in Attleborough. Picture Ian Burt.

Dudley Howe, 82, died after being struck by the lorry while crossing Station Road, Attleborough, on Friday, October 6, 2017, on his way back from getting his flu jab at his doctor's surgery, Norwich Crown Court was told.

Simon Rayner, 52, of Abbot Road, Norwich, has denied causing death by careless driving.

Peter Gair, prosecuting, said Mr Howe was walking across the road with his wheeled walker when he was struck by a DAF articulated lorry driven by Rayner, who had been held up in a traffic queue at the level crossing in the town.

He said Mr Howe had started to walk in front of the stationary lorry and stopped in front of Rayner's cab when the barriers went up and traffic started to move.

Mr Gair said: "Mr Howe thought the gates were still down. They were not. They had just gone up."

He said Rayner had slowly moved forward and had run over Mr Howe.

Witnesses who saw what was happening sounded their horns and Rayner stopped his vehicle and soon realised what had happened.

Mr Gair said there was also dashcam footage of the fatal accident which would be shown to the jurors, although they would be spared seeing the actual collision.

He told jurors: "You will be able to watch these events and see very clearly what we say occurred and give you a better position to judge the issues."

Mr Gair said the footage was quite distressing so with the agreement of the all concerned he would not be showing the actual collision: "It is not necessary to do so in order to decide the issues in this case."

He said the footage would be stopped before any graphic images were shown: "It is a very tragic event."

Mr Gair accepted Mr Howe would have been out of view of the defendant from his cab: "With an articulated lorry the cab is quite high and anyone standing below the driver's side would not have been seen."

However Mr Gair claimed the defendant failed to keep a proper look out and said the accident could have been avoided and said: "As a result he must take part of the blame for the tragic death of Mr Howe."

Mr Gair said an examination of the lorry showed no defects but claimed a safety mirror on the lorry had not been properly adjusted so as to leave a blind spot.

He said Rayner knew he had a blind spot and should have ensured it was safe before moving off.

When interviewed about the matter Rayner said he had no idea Mr Howe was in the road and stopped as soon as he realised something was wrong.

Mr Gair said in this case the prosecution say Rayner's driving fell below that of a careful and competant driver.

He told the jury: "It is for you to decide."

The trial continues.


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