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'I went over bump not knowing it was a body': witness
A DRIVER told a death crash trial how he went over a ‘bump’ on a major dual carriageway – not knowing it was a body.
Witness Robert Fairbairn was on his daily commute to work in Southampton when he saw a flash in front of him and felt his Mercedes coupe go over a bump.
Unbeknown to him, he had just driven over the body of cyclist and IT consultant David Irving, who died from severe injuries after being allegedly knocked off his bike by a minibus as he cycled to work on Mountbatten Way.
Giving evidence at Southampton Crown Court Robert Fairbairn recalled how he was driving at about 20-25mph in his Mercedes coupe on his way to work.
Conditions were dry and bright, and he had his visor down in Mountbatten Way because the sun was low.
He told the court how he suddenly saw a flash, adding. “I thought it was a Tesco carrier bag, the flash came straight at me. I thought it came from left to right but it was all in an instant.
“There was a flash and then a bump. I had gone over something in the road but I didn’t know what it was. I stopped my car, got out, grabbed my mobile phone and walked back.
“Then I realised there was somebody lying in the road and dialled 999.”
Under cross examination from defence barrister Mark Florida James, he added: “I didn’t brake, I didn’t have time to react. I had not seen the cyclist although I was looking ahead of me paying attention.”
As reported by the Daily Echo yesterday, Mr Irving, from Wimborne, Dorset, died as he made his way into the city during rush hour on December 17, 2012.
The prosecution say Mr Irving was wearing an orange high-visibility jacket, an anklet with LED lights and had his lights on his bicycle at the time.
Van driver Lee Cooper, a medic with Solent Rescue, told the court how he was in the middle lane on Mountbatten Way when vehicles in front started “slamming on their brakes and swerving to the right from lane one.”
Mr Cooper, a lifeboatman for nine years, said: “I couldn’t initially see why but within seconds I noticed someone lying in the road. I pulled into lane one and positioned my van to stop others driving into him.”
He carried out first aid on Mr Irving, helped by a fireman and together they treated him until an ambulance arrived and paramedics took over.
Minibus driver Steven Petterson, 38, of Waterhouse Lane, Southamp-ton, denies causing death by careless driving.
Jurors have been told he thought he had hit a bus stop sign as he drove in bright conditions with the low sun causing a glare.
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