A LORRY driver accused of mowing down and killing a three-year-old boy as he sarcastically clapped another motorist today told jurors he “made a mistake”.
Sainsbury’s driver Dean Phoenix allegedly didn’t see a red light at a the pedestrian crossing as he was “swearing and gesticulating” at the time.
Jaiden Mangan, pictured, was killed when he crossed the road in Wareham, Dorest[/caption]
The youngster was hit by a Sainsbury’s lorry driver[/caption]
He struck little Jaiden Mangan, who was with his mum, Yasmin Dougan, and sister as he rode a balance bike in Wareham, Dorset.
The youngster suffered severe chest and abdominal injuries and died later in hospital – the day before his forth birthday.
Phoenix today told jurors at Bournemouth Crown Court he “made a mistake” as he admitted being “frustrated” as he slow-clapped a driver who had stopped at lights.
Footage showed Phoenix in his Sainsbury’s lorry behind a Vauxhall Astra that a pensioner had parked just in front of the crossing.
‘IT WAS AN ACCIDENT’
Phoenix mistakenly thought a car on the opposite side of the road had stopped to let him through when the car had stopped for the red light that he failed to see, jurors heard.
He said: “I wasn’t expecting anyone to be on the crossing, I had no indication someone was in front of me.
“All my concentration was on looking ahead at the situation and moving forward so I could free up the traffic.
“It was an accident, I made a mistake, that’s why I pleaded guilty to careless driving.
“I never wanted to be in that position. I just went to work that morning, I didn’t go to hurt anyone.
“I came across that situation and moved forward when I shouldn’t have done.”
‘I WAS FRUSTRATED’
Asked by Stuart Ellacott, prosecuting, about his hand gestures and clapping, Phoenix added: “I was frustrated.
“I thought we are now all in this jam and no one can move. I was thinking if one of you had just let me through it would have cleared it up.”
Phoenix has pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving but denies a charge of causing death by dangerous driving.
The jury was told Graham Booker, 71, had illegally parked his car in the zig-zag area of the crossing, causing the traffic to build up.
Mr Ellacott said Mr Booker had been convicted of careless driving for his actions that contributed to the tragic incident.
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He said Phoenix should still have been able to see the lights change and stop at the crossing.
Mr Ellacott said the defendant also failed to look in the mirror at the front of his cab that would have shown Jaiden crossing.
The trial continues.
The boy’s heartbroken family led the procession at his funeral in Wareham[/caption]
Driver Dean Phoenix did not notice the red light at a pedestrian crossing[/caption]
Graham Booker illegally parked his car in the zig-zag area and has been convicted of careless driving[/caption]
The three-year-old suffered severe chest and abdominal injuries and died in hospital[/caption]
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