A DRIVER has been accused of speeding and “driving erratically” moments before ploughing into a pensioner and killing her.
Florence Jean Crofts, 78, had been attempting to cross the A6 in Ambergate when the VW Beetle driven by Timothy Collis collided with her and threw her 50 metres along the road.
A trial in which 45-year-old Collis, of Cromford Bridge, Cromford, is accused of causing death by dangerous driving started at Nottingham Crown Court this week. He denies the charge.
John Straw, prosecuting, told the jury that Miss Crofts, who was known as Jean, had been dropped off at the side of the road by her partner, Raymond Murfin, who then went to park the car further down the road and meet her at St Anne’s Church where they were to watch a pantomime on February 24 last year.
Moments later, at about 7pm, Mrs Crofts was hit by Collis’ car on the junction of New Bridge Road. She was struck with such force that it severed her legs below the knee.
The speed limit is 40mph, but Mr Straw says that analysis and calculations suggest Collis was travelling at 54mph at least.
It was heard Collis was seen driving erratically by several witnesses and that he was overtaking two or three cars at a time.
Mr Straw said: “The Crown’s case is that the defendant’s driving was dangerous. He had no proper regard for the safety of himself or other motorists and road-users.
“He was driving far below the standard and essence you would expect of a competent motorist. But in a police interview he denied that he was driving improperly.”
The jury heard from Caroline Mapp, was driving on the A6 shortly before Miss Crofts died.
She told the jury that Collis had overtaken and cut in front of her at speed.
Another witness, Douglas Harrison, had been driving in the opposite direction and believed that Collis was “well exceeding the speed limit”.
He said he heard a “tremendous thump” and felt there was no braking or slowing at all by Collis.
Mr Harrison said that when he got out of his car, he had seen Collis at the side of the road “crouching down, screaming hysterically”.
The trial continues.