Bury St Edmunds: Woman denies death by careless driving

AN 87-year-old woman died after being hit by a car as it pulled out of a side road as she walked in front of it, a court has heard.

Joan Pointer had been walking with her husband John along Rougham Road in Bury St Edmunds on March 2 last year when the collision occurred at the junction of a road leading to the rugby club, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

As Mrs Pointer, who used a walking frame, walked in front of a Vauxhall Zafira the vehicle had moved forwards trapping Mrs Pointer’s foot and walking frame under the car and causing her to hit her head on the road, said Godfried Duah, prosecuting.

Despite the efforts of the emergency services Mrs Pointer, of Southgate House, Bury St Edmunds, died the following day.

Before the court is Louise McLaren, 37, of Raedwald Close, Bury St Edmunds, who has denied causing Mrs Pointer’s death by careless driving.

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Mr Duah told the court that at 4pm on March 2 Mr and Mrs Pointer had visited the Marks and Spencer store in Rougham Road and were making their way to a pedestrian crossing.

Mrs Pointer was slightly ahead of her husband and was walking in front of McLaren’s car when the vehicle had edged forward and knocked her over.

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Mr Duah claimed that prior to the accident Mr and Mrs Pointer had been on the pavement for 44 seconds and that McLaren ought to have seen her. “She was there to be seen. Had she (McLaren) looked to her left and in front of the vehicle before pulling out she would have seen her based on the view she would have had,” said Mr Duah.

In a recorded interview played to the jury, Mr Pointer said the Vauxhall Zafira appeared to have stopped at the exit of the road leading to the rugby club.

Asked why he thought his wife had moved in front of the car, Mr Pointer replied: “The car was stationary. There was no reason for her to stop. If it was moving we would have waited to go past.”

He said that as the car “crept forwards” his wife had fallen to the ground. “She was straight out in front of the car lying in the road with her foot under the car.’’

He told the court that he and his wife had been married for 60 years and had three children.

Gareth Clark, 22, said the bus on which he was a passenger had stopped in Rougham Road and when he looked to see the reason why he had seen the driver of the Zafira put her hand up as if to thank the bus driver. She had then pulled out of the side road and hit Mrs Pointer.

Bus driver Alan Squires said he had slowed down as he approached the junction with the road leading to the rugby club because in the past he had seen cars pull out of the turning at speed. He said he hadn’t flashed his lights or indicated that he was slowing down to let the Zafira out but said it was possible the driver had thought he was letting her out.

He said the Zafira had “pulled away very gently.”

“She was literally creeping forward,” said Mr Squires.

The court heard that following the collision McLaren told police she hadn’t seen Mrs Pointer.

The trial continues today.

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