NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Driver 'unaware' of hitting pedestrian in Aberdeen

Crash diversion signs
Image caption The collision happened on Queen's Road in Aberdeen in 2012

A woman has told a court that she did not realise she had knocked down a pedestrian until her car windscreen smashed.

Rachel Forsyth, of Westhill, is accused of causing the death of 79-year-old Lillian Morrison by driving dangerously while using her mobile phone.

The incident happened on Queen's Road in Aberdeen on 27 December 2012.

She denies the charge at the High Court in Aberdeen.

Ms Forsyth, 21, was on her way to work at a squash club in the city when the collision happened.

She told the jury that she was driving at the 30mph speed limit at the time.

The driver said she had sent her mother a text from her house in nearby Kingswells before she set off for work.

She said: "I sent her a text when I was in the car just to tell her I had walked the dog and had gone to work.

"I was stationary in my car in the driveway."

Time on phone

The jury heard that her mobile phone had recorded the text being sent at 16:07 but Ms Forsyth said she did not know whether the clock on her phone was accurate.

She could not remember whether she had set the time herself or it had been set automatically through the network.

Ms Forsyth started crying when she described how the collision happened and said she thought she had struck a cyclist when she parked the car.

Asked if something had happened during her journey to work, she replied: "I obviously hit a pedestrian. It was when my windshield smashed that I was aware."

The driver told the court that she had turned off the road, parked her black Vauxhall Corsa and tried to phone her father while sitting in the vehicle.

She could not reach him and then ran up to the pedestrian crossing.

The jury heard that she was upset when she reached the pavement where Mrs Morrison's body lay on the ground.

Other motorists had pulled over and took her into a bus shelter to try to calm her down.

The court heard that one of the drivers had called the ambulance service to report the incident at 16:10.

Ms Forsyth said she had taken less than five minutes to get to Queen's Road because there was very little traffic.

Facing headlights

Advocate depute Bruce Erroch asked her to explain why she had not seen the pedestrian she had collided with.

She replied: "It was December so it was very dark and the headlights of the cars were directly facing me the whole way out as well."

Mr Erroch asked: "Is it not the case that you were not paying attention to what was happening on the road ahead of you?"

She replied: "No, that's not the case."

She insisted that she hadn't been using her mobile phone.

She told the court: "I was not texting at the time I was driving. I was paying attention and wasn't on my phone either at the time."

The trial continues.

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