Tayside and Central Scotland

Lorry driver tells of Bonnybridge OAP crush horror

Stephen Hendry Image copyright Tim Bugler
Image caption Stephen Hendry said he "wanted to change places" with Agnes Brzezina following the incident

A lorry driver has told of his horror at realising he had just run over an 88-year-old woman.

Stephen Hendry is on trial accused of causing the death of Agnes Brzezina outside WH Tyres in Bonnybridge in September 2013.

The 56-year-old decorated army veteran denies causing the pensioner's death by careless driving.

He said he "wanted to change places" with the stricken Mrs Brzezina as he comforted her following the incident.

The frail OAP died in hospital eight days after having her legs crushed under the 7.5 tonne vehicle.

Hendry told Stirling Sheriff Court the pensioner must have been in his blind spot, claiming he had checked all of his mirrors including a special "close proximity mirror".

Image caption Hendry told Stirling Sheriff Court that Mrs Brzezina must have been in his blind spot

He said: "I took every extra care I could possibly take whilst making my manoeuvres, but in all that time I was moving backwards and forwards I didn't see that woman once."

His solicitor Ann Bonomy asked: "Is there anything more you think you could have done?"

Hendry replied: "No, I don't think there is, no. It was horrible, it was terrible."

MBE recipient

Speaking of the aftermath of the collision, when he tried to comfort Mrs Brzezina as she lay critically injured under the lorry, he said: "I was holding this wee woman's hands, and I just wanted to change places with her, to be honest with you."

Hendry revealed that following a 22-year career in the army, he was awarded an MBE for services to the community, the blind elderly, youths and young adults.

After watching CCTV footage of the incident, which happened on the afternoon of 26 September, 2013, Hendry agreed that it showed his vehicle moving off at the precise moment Mrs Brzezina appeared from the left.

He told Sheriff William Gilchrist that he had been in conversation with depot manager William Hughes, who was on the vehicle's right.

Hendry, of Port Glasgow, denies that he failed to keep a proper lookout while manoeuvring his Mercedes box van on the forecourt of the tyre depot at Wellpark Terrace, Bonnybridge, driving forward onto the road without checking for pedestrians and driving over Mrs Brzezina.

The trial, before Sheriff Gilchrist, continues.

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