Driver denies causing death of Waterlooville lollipop man

Raymond Elsmore ENGPPP00120120612164255
Raymond Elsmore ENGPPP00120120612164255
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A WOMAN caused an 82-year-old lollipop man’s death by ploughing into him in a car as he helped a pedestrian cross the road, a court heard today,

Lauren Paul, 23, was driving a Nissan Micra that collided with great-grandfather Raymond Elsmore in Tempest Avenue, Waterlooville, near Queen’s Inclosure Primary School.

Paul, of Holly Drive, Waterlooville, denies causing death by careless driving.

A 12-strong jury heard during a retrial at that great-grandfather Mr Elsmore, of Florentine Way, Waterlooville, was helping a woman called Toni Ponting cross the road and was standing in the southbound carriageway when the collision happened.

Mr Elsmore was on duty wearing his standard issue, high visibility fluorescent jacket and cap and carrying his lollipop school crossing patrol sign at the time.

He suffered serious head and chest injuries in the crash, which happened at about 3:05pm on December 5 2012.

Mr Elsmore was taken by air ambulance to Southampton General Hospital where he later died.

Matthew Lawson, prosecuting, said: ‘There were no cars coming when Mr Elsmore walked into the road.’

Mr Lawson said of the Nissan Micra: ‘It ran straight into Mr Elsmore from behind as he stood in the middle of the southbound carriageway.

‘Mr Elsmore was scooped up onto the car, shattering the windscreen and was thrown forward into the road as the Nissan braked and stopped.

‘The driver, Miss Paul, got out of the Nissan and was seen to appear shocked. When asked by Miss Ponting what she had done and how she didn’t see Mr Elsmore, Miss Paul replied: ‘I couldn’t see’’.

He added: ‘Some other drivers who stopped either spoke to Miss Paul or head what she said. Andrew Baker who had been driving in the northbound carriageway noted Miss Paul as being, in his words, quite hysterical and saying ‘I didn’t see him, the sun was in my eyes.’

Paul, who works at South Downs College in Waterlooville, later told a police officer the sun was low as she was driving and that her windscreen was starting to de-mist, her visor was down.

The court heard she told the sergeant: ‘I never saw the guy from first to last.’

Mr Lawson said that in interview with police Paul later said she had performed an emergency stop and seen a body ‘roll down the bonnet into the road.’

He added: ‘She said that she was desperately sorry for what had happened to the gentleman and the loss his family had suffered.’

The court heard an expert who examined the scene believes Paul was driving at between 21mph and 28mph in a 30mph zone when the crash happened.

This afternoon, a mum who was being helped across the road by Mr Elsmore when he was hit by the car said the driver told her moments after the crash: ‘I couldn’t see.’

Pre-school worker Toni Ponting was pregnant at the time of the crash and said she knew victim Raymond Elsmore.

Giving evidence at Soythampton Crown Court, Ms Ponting said the pair had been chatting and continued their conversation as she crossed.

She said: ‘As I was chatting to him I could see behind him cars coming.

‘I thought the car [the Nissan Micra] would stop but it didn’t.

‘He’s hit by the car, he hits the windscreen and the car brakes and he’s pushed back down onto the road.

‘He had his back to the car and was picked up.’

Ms Ponting said the car stopped as soon as it hit Mr Elsmore and described Paul as ‘distraught’ when she got out of the Nissan.

When asked by prosecutor Matthew Lawson if she saw anything, Ms Ponting replied: ‘I could feel like there was something not right but then I thought, you know, it’s a given the car would stop.’

Asked if she spoke to Paul, Ms Ponting said: ‘I know I swore a lot. I was very angry. I was heavily pregnant anyway.’

She added: ‘I asked if she had, something like, could she see him, why couldn’t she see him, something like that.’

Asked what Pail said, she replied: ‘[She said] ‘I couldn’t see’.’

‘I said ‘you shouldn’t be driving’’.

The trial at Southampton Crown Court is expected to last up to four days.

(Proceeding).