Monday, February 4, 2013
A 91-year-old woman who died after a collision with a black cab was “tossed in the air and did a somersault” after the accident, a court heard.
Renee Peett, a lifelong Islington resident who lived in Petherton Road, Highbury, died two days after the incident on Waterloo Bridge in October 2011 which left her with a shattered pelvis and broken spine.
The driver of the taxi, Noel Cameron, of Sixth Avenue, Manor Park, is accused of causing death by careless driving - his trial started at Inner London Crown Court on Monday.
Paul Ayling, who was cycling along the bridge at the time, witnessed the collision.
He said: “She was tossed in the air, pretty much did a somersault, then came to rest in the bus lane. She was laid in the recovery position, with her head facing north and feet facing south.”
Opening the case for the prosecution, Hamish Reid told the jury: “There is no dispute that Mr Cameron was driving and there is no dispute that he collided with Renee Peett and she eventually died of injuries sustained.
“What is in dispute and what you all need to decide is whether he was driving with due care and attention.
“It is not part of the case to suggest that when Mr Cameron started his journey he intended to kill. Of course he did not.
“Whatever your decision he will need to live with what happened for the rest of his life.”
Mr Cameron was heading south across the bridge taking a teenage passenger from his school in north London to Fulham training ground at about 5:30pm on October 3 2011.
Ms Peett, who had health problems, dementia and used a walking stick, tried to cross the road.
Mr Reid said: “When she was struck by the taxi driven by Mr Cameron she had been in the road for at least five seconds, maybe significantly more, she was there to be seen.”
He added that a motorcyclist who was behind the taxi had seen the victim from the moment she stepped off the kerb.
He said: “Mr Cameron failed to observe Renee Peett in the road in front until the very last instant. It may be she was unwise to cross the road where she did, but that does not provide an excuse.”
Mr Cameros stopped at the scene as was “clearly shocked and distressed”.
He was arrested by police and when interviewed claimed Ms Peett stepped out, walked slowly and was unaware of the traffic.
The trial continues.