Taxi driver guilty over crash which killed pensioner
A taxi driver who knocked down a pedestrian has been found guilty of causing death by careless driving.
Moqadas Hafeez was warned he could be jailed.
Tragedy struck for 91-year-old Ukraine-born Mychajilo Dudok, aged 91, as he crossed the three-lane New Road – part of the inner Stourbridge ring road – at lunchtime on September 22 2017, Wolverhampton Crown Court heard
He was hit by a VW Passat driven by the 39-year-old defendant who had not seen him until it was too late but claimed the victim had fallen back off the pavement into the path of his car.
But Mr Paul Spratt, prosecuting, said Hafeez was lying in a bid to avoid responsibility for the death and explained: “As the pedestrian crossed the third lane and got close to completing the crossing he was hit by the taxi.”
Motorist Joan Lester was in the middle lane alongside the taxi which was on the inside track closest to the town centre, as they travelled round a right-hand curve.
She told the jury: “As I turned I saw an older man crossing the road. He was stooped over and moving very slowly.
"When I first saw him he was in the first of the three lanes he had to cross.
"I said to my husband: ‘I don’t know if he is going to make it.’
“I thought I was going to have to stop but as I started to slow he cleared my lane and moved into the third lane where there was collision between him and another car.
"I had started to slow but the other car had not done anything.
"The man stepped into its lane and it hit him.”
The prosecution insisted Hafeez, of Albert Street, Lye, could have stopped in time to avoid hitting the pensioner.
He maintained he did not see the victim until the man had crossed the road.
The defendant claimed: “The first time I saw him he was on the pavement. I didn’t see him cross the road.
"As I approached him he fell onto the wing of the car, hit the wing mirror and fell onto the ground. I got out and asked him if he was OK. He said: ‘I am OK and want to go home’.”
Mr Spratt said: “There was no obstruction and no vehicle between you and him. You were distracted in some way and were not paying proper attention to the road in front of you and collided with the man as he was crossing the road.”
Experts estimated the taxi was travelling at about 28mph in a 30mph zone and had braked to 18mph when it hit the victim who was taken to hospital but died from multiple injuries that included a badly broken right leg.
Sgt Adam Green, a senior forensic expert in the Police Collision Investigation Unit said: “If the pedestrian had fallen, or even stumbled, I would expect a different pattern of damage on the taxi because he would not have been moving in the same way as when walking.
“The collision occurred as a result of the driver failing to react as the pedestrian crossed the carriageway. There was sufficient time for the driver to bring his vehicle to a halt.”
Hafeez was unanimously found guilty and remanded on bail for a pre sentence report until February 13.
Judge Simon Ward told him: “I will then decide what is the appropriate sentence but do not rule out prison.”
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