Sussex

Driver 'didn't bother' securing generator which killed woman

Stephen Dudley
Image caption Stephen Dudley was driving the flatbed lorry for a construction firm before the incident

A driver "didn't bother" strapping down a 60kg generator which fell from his truck, killing a woman, a court heard.

Stephen Dudley was driving the flatbed truck from Ashford to Brighton for a construction firm in August 2016.

When he approached a level crossing in Etchingham the generator fell, hitting and killing pedestrian Emma Beeney, and injuring her husband Rob.

Mr Dudley denies causing death by dangerous driving and causing serious injury by dangerous driving.

Mrs Beeney, 40, an Army warrant officer based in Andover, Hampshire, was crushed to death while her husband suffered serious head injuries.

During the opening at Lewes Crown Court prosecutor Alan Gardner said: "It is the defendant's responsibility to make sure the load is safe and secure, he didn't, and in this case it had tragic consequences.

"Mr Dudley didn't bother to strap down the load despite the presence of the loading straps."

The jury heard how the load had been moving around on the back of the Ford Transit during the journey.

Image caption Eyewitnesses saw Mr Dudley driving "too fast", the court was told

When Mr Dudley was first interviewed by the police he confirmed he knew how to fit the straps, and had secured the generator with the straps.

In a later police interview, when confronted with CCTV footage contradicting this account, he admitted not using the straps, the jury heard.

The prosecution also stated that eyewitnesses saw Mr Dudley driving "too fast".

The trial continues.

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