HGV driver was using phone and drunk before fatal accident, court hears

A careless truck driver killed a cyclist when he ran her over in South London, a court has heard.

Catriona Patel, 39, died after her head and back were crushed under the wheels of Dennis Putz’s HGV as he accelerated away form a set of traffic lights outside Oval tube station.

He allegedly failed to notice he had run over the City worker until he was alerted by members of the public hammering on his doors.

Jonathan Polnay, prosecuting, told Inner London Crown Court: “Tests were carried out by police standing where Ms Patel was and there’s no doubt that Ms Patel clearly would have been visible in the truck’s mirrors.”

“If Mr Putz had looked once in the 29 seconds they were both stationary he would have seen Ms Putz.”

“A competent driver would make a particular effort to check their mirrors for cyclists, especially when turning left.”

The court also heard that Putz was likely to have been over the legal drink-drive limit by about 40-50mg at the time of the fatal accident. He admits that he was also using a mobile phone, but via a hands-free kit.

The Daily Mail reports that he denies causing death by dangerous driving.

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