Case Study

Lorry driver acquitted of causing pedestrian's death in Leicester

Incident date: 
Tue, 10 Jul 2012

A lorry driver who failed to see an 85-year-old man crossing the road has gone on trial. Robert Barnett denies causing death by careless driving. He was driving an HGV in a “stop-start” traffic queue in Melton Road, Leicester, when pensioner Kantilal Shah walked in front of the stationary vehicle.

As the articulated lorry slowly moved off in the queue of traffic, Barnett unknowingly knocked over Mr Shah, and the pensioner fell under the vehicle, which passed over him. A woman driving a car following closely behind had no idea anyone was on the ground and drover over Mr Shah.

Mr Shah suffered fatal chest injuries and died in hospital.

The tragedy happened near the junction with Lancashire Street at about 11am on July 10th 2012.

Avik Mukherjee, prosecuting, said the lorry was correctly fitted with six types of mirrors, including one specially angled to see directly in front of the cab.

He said: “The driver should have seen Mr Shah crossing, but failed to do so because he had a lapse in concentration.”

Police accident expert Pc James Lawrence said that if Barnett had checked the front-facing mirror – showing what was within a metre of the front of his cab – he would have seen the pedestrian.

He said: “It’s not likely to be one second. It’s going to take a time for a pedestrian of his age with a back condition and a walking stick.”

The female driver is not being prosecuted.

The trial continues.

  • UPDATE (04/09/13)
    Barnett has been acquitted of causing Mr Shah’s death by careless driving.

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