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Bus horror driver left scene

THE driver of a double decker bus which knocked down and killed a woman on a zebra crossing left the scene, an inquest heard this week.

THE driver of a double decker bus which knocked down and killed a woman on a zebra crossing left the scene, an inquest heard this week.

Roy Harris, 44, was said to have told police he did not see victim Joyce Rigby either before or after the accident.

He left his vehicle on Accrington bus station and was one or two streets away when police stopped him and took him in for questioning.

Mrs Rigby, 61, of Fairfield Street, Accrington, died of multiple injuries after being struck by the bus at the entrance to the Peel Street station on 8 October last year.

She had been walking over the crossing after going into town to get some shopping.

Witness Margaret Porter said: "I saw a woman approach the crossing. At that point I was looking towards Blackburn Road and I saw a Pilkington's bus driving down."

"It turned into Peel Street at quite a fast speed. I heard a loud bang and I saw someone in front of the bus. Then the front wheels went over her."

"People were screaming for the bus to stop. When it did I could see the woman's legs sticking out from underneath it."

In a statement read out by PC Simon Lynch, Mr Harris said there had been an incident just before when one of the other drivers had lost her money but it had not made him late for his run.

As he was driving round the corner he was distracted by someone shouting either "Oy" or "Roy". It was then that the bus struck Mrs Rigby.

Accident investigator PC John Sutcliffe said he did not believe the bus had turned the corner at an excessive speed but a blind spot on the windscreen, caused by a pillar, meant the driver would have had to move his head to obtain a full view of the road.

East Lancashire Coroner Mr Michael Singleton recorded a verdict of accidental death and offered his condolences to Mrs Rigby's family.

Widow Mrs Rigby, a retired cotton mill worker, left three sons and three grandchildren, all of whom live locally.

The case against Mr Harris, of Clitheroe and formerly of Fife Street, Accrington, was adjourned until 17 June by Hyndburn magistrates last Thursday.

Mr Harris, who was excused from attending the hearing, is charged with driving without due care and attention and failing to stop at the scene of an accident.

At a previous hearing he pleaded not guilty to both offences.


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