Bus driver breaks down in court remembering how he hit man in Addiscombe
A bus driver accused of knocking down and killing a man in Addiscombe broke down in court as he recalled the incident.
George Boafo was driving a 194 double-decker bus down Addiscombe Road, when he hit Thomas Taylor at about 9.10pm, close to the Sandilands tram stop on May 2, last year.
Mr Taylor who lived on Havelock Road, just metres from the scene of the crash was treated for head injuries at St George's Hospital, but died six days later. Mr Boafo was later charged with causing death by careless driving.
Recalling the bus journey as he gave evidence at Croydon Crown Court the 64-year-old said: "There was no one at the bus stop and no-one had rang the bell so I proceeded down the road towards the pedestrian crossing.
"I saw a gentleman in the middle of the road. My reaction was to brake and when I realised the distance between where he was and the bus I realised I couldn't bring the bus to a safe stop in such a short distance.
"I turned the bus, I swung it to the right in order to go around him and avoid hitting him, but as I swerved the bus I collided into him.When I first saw him he was about 10 or 15 metres away."
Asked by defence lawyer Edward Ellis what affect the accident had on him, Mr Boafo said he had been medically retired after suffering stress and depression.
Wiping tears from his eyes he added: "I worked as a bus driver for 23 years and never had an accident, so to see a man in my age group lying there I cried my eyes out.
"It took me months before I was even able to come out to see a bus going past. Each time I saw a bus I got panic attacks, I am still traumatised now."
Prosecutor Jonathan Polnay accused Mr Boafo of not paying enough care and attention in the moments before the accident.
He said: "I put it to you, you were not paying full care and attention in the minutes before the accident."
Mr Boafo replied: "I disagree, I didn't see him step into the road, if I had seen him I would have done everything to stop. The only thing that distracted me was paying attention to my mirrors and to my camera."
Mr Boafo denies one charge of causing death by careless driving.
The jury have retired to deliberate their verdict.