Fatal crash driver 'didn't see cyclist'

Updated: 

Hit and run death crash

A Southampton motorist accused of killing a hitting and killing a cyclist during the morning rush hour has told a court he simply did not see his victim.

Youth worker Steven Petterson said he did not see cyclist David Irving on the city's Mountbatten Road, due to being blinded by the sun.

He maintained he had no idea he'd hit someone even after the wing mirror of his minibus had struck Mr Irving, knocking him off his bike.

"I was really blinded by the sun," he told Southampton Crown Court," reported the Daily Echo.

"Then I heard a bang. The wing mirror came in. There was a flash of red and in my mind I envisaged it was a bus sign. It was the first thing that came into my head, it was a red post."

Petterson continued to describe the sequence of events to jurors, explaining that he didn't stop on the carriageway for fear of being rear-ended by another motorist. He instead stopped at the first lay-by to investigate the cause of the collision.

However, after not seeing anything untoward, he got back into his minibus and drove off.

Petterson was later informed by his father that ambulances were in attendance at the crash scene, prompting him to ring the police.

"I didn't know for certain it was a person. When I was told I was being arrested for causing someone's death I broke down in tears. That's when it really hit me," he said.

The court heard how Mr Irving had been cycling from Totton to Southampton city centre, where the prosecution allege he was stuck by Petterson's minibus before being run over by a following Mercedes just moments later.

38-year-old Petterson denies causing death by careless driving.

Explaining to the court that he was wearing sunglasses and had his sun visor down due to the conditions, he told jurors: "I wasn't doing anything in the vehicle to distract me. I was concentrating. I could just see the car in front with its lights on.

"I didn't think I was driving carelessly," he continued. "I was driving like I normally drive. If I had seen someone on a bike I would have made sure I would have driven around them."

The trial continues.