A SAINSBURY’S lorry driver mowed down and killed a three-year-old boy after swearing and “sarcastically clapping” at another motorist, a court heard today.
Dean Phoenix did not notice the red light at a pedestrian crossing that allowed Jaiden Mangan to cross in front of him as he was “swearing and gesticulating” at the time, it is alleged.
Jaiden Mangan, pictured, was killed when he crossed the road in Wareham, Dorest[/caption]
The youngster was hit by a Sainsbury’s lorry driver[/caption]
The 44-year-old pulled away to drive around an illegally parked car that was blocking his path and struck Jaiden who was riding a balance bike in Wareham, Dorset.
The youngster, who was with his mum, Yasmin Dougan, and sister, suffered severe head injuries and died later in hospital. His fourth birthday would have been the next day.
CCTV footage and the dashcam from a taxi that was approaching the crossing captured the horrific collision on March 29 last year.
A jury heard the footage showed Phoenix become frustrated that his Sainsbury’s lorry had to wait behind a Vauxhall Astra a pensioner had parked just in front of the crossing.
Phoenix mistakenly thought a car on the opposite side of the road had stopped to let him through and was filmed “sarcastically clapping” as it made the space tight for him.
In fact the car had stopped for the red light that Phoenix failed to see, it is alleged.
Phoenix has pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving but denies a charge of causing death by dangerous driving.
When the vehicle stops because of the red light Mr Phoenix is seen giving a sarcastic clap before returning his hand to the steering wheel and driving forwards, colliding with Jaiden.
Prosecutor Stuart Ellacott
The jury was told Graham Booker, 71, had illegally parked his car in the zig-zag area of the crossing, causing the traffic to build up.
Stuart Ellacott, prosecuting, said Mr Booker had been convicted of careless driving for his actions that contributed to the tragic incident.
He said Phoenix should still have been able to see the lights change and stop at the crossing.
Mr Ellacott said: “There is no dispute that Mr Phoenix was driving and that the collision which occurred led to the death of young Jaiden.
FRUSTRATED AND ANNOYED
“The question is whether what happened and the manner of Mr Phoenix’s driving amounted to dangerous driving.
“Mr Phoenix is gesticulating in his van, quite clearly frustrated and annoyed.
“When the vehicle stops because of the red light Mr Phoenix is seen giving a sarcastic clap before returning his hand to the steering wheel and driving forwards, colliding with Jaiden.
“In interview Mr Phoenix describes himself in the cab ‘swearing and frustrated at the position he, Mr Booker, has put me in’.
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“Mr Phoenix has failed to take the time to see that the lights had changed, no doubt because of his frustration, but he wasn’t so busy that he couldn’t give a sarcastic clap.”
Mr Ellacott said the defendant also failed to look in the mirror at the front of his cab that would have shown Jaiden crossing.
Phoenix, from Chineham, Hants, denies causing death by dangerous driving and the trial at Bournemouth Crown Court continues.
The boy’s heartbroken family led the procession at his funeral in Wareham[/caption]
Driver Dean Phoenix did not notice the red light at a pedestrian crossing[/caption]
Graham Booker illegally parked his car in the zig-zag area and has been convicted of careless driving[/caption]
The three-year-old suffered severe head injuries and died in hospital[/caption]
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