Romford driver Darren Harris ‘shot down the road’ after knocking over Peter Scott, court hears

17:33 20 March 2012

Darren Harris has pleaded not guilty to death by careless driving

Darren Harris has pleaded not guilty to death by careless driving


A man who was hit by a car “went up in the air” before the Romford driver allegedly “shot down the road” a court heard today.

Darren Harris, 38, was in Basildon Crown Court for the second day of a trial into death by dangerous driving and careless driving.

Harris, of White Hart Lane, Romford, has pleaded not guilty to both counts.

The incident, which happened on January 10, last year, is alleged to have led to the death of Peter Scott, 60, who was crossing Collier Row Lane at the time.

Today the jury heard evidence from Catherine Craigmile, who was first at the scene.

She said she was entering Collier Row Lane when she heard a “loud thud”. She did not see the collision but said she saw the car “speeding off”.

“(Mr Scott) went up in the air and then fell on the road. He must have gone to the equivalent height of the bus stop.

“He (Harris) had to stop momentarily and then drove off. He shot down the road.”

She said within 40 seconds she stopped traffic, and a driver, who was also an off-duty paramedic came to help; the ambulance was called by passer by Jane Taylor.

But Miss Taylor said she was unsure of timings, and said it could have been five minutes after she heard the thud that she called the ambulance.

Records show the ambulance was called at 5.31pm.

Mobile phone expert Andrew Crestwell, who works in the Metropolitan Police intelligence unit, confirmed Harris received a phone call at 5.28pm, which finished at 5.30pm.

The prosecution alleges he was either on the phone or just finished a call when Mr Scott was hit.

PC John Carter, from the traffic division of the Metropolitan Police and an expert in collision investigations, said: “There were quite a number of street lights. There is no reason why he (Mr Scott) shouldn’t have been visible.”

His findings at the scene, Mr Scott’s injuries and from studying the dark green BMW estate Harris was driving suggest his speed was between 28 to 37 mph, but said this was an underestimate, adding he believed he “was in excess of the (30mph) speed limit”.

PC Gareth Harding’s statement, which was read out in court, said Harris later handed himself into Romford police station.

He said: “The man said he thought he had run someone over,” at which point he was arrested.

The trial continues tomorrow.

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