Bus driver tells court his foot was “unconsciously on the accelerator” when commuter was killed
A bus driver who killed a commuter when he didn’t brake has told a court his foot was “unconsciously on the accelerator”.
Olusofa Popoola, 60, drove an electric 507 single-decker that maneuvered into the back of a driverless bus that ran over Melissa Burr, 32, outside busy Victoria Station in London on August 10, 2021.
Popoola, from Peckham, south London, admits causing her death by careless driving but denies the charge of death by dangerous driving. He also denies seriously injuring fellow passenger Diana Mathuranayagam in the same collision.
The Old Bailey has heard how Ms Burr, 32, of Rainham, Kent, was crushed and thrown into the air in front of two horrified colleagues – and later died of her injuries.
Ms Burr had been walking between two buses at around 8.25am that morning at the time of the horror collision.
Olusofa Popoola (pictured), 60, was driving an electric 507 single-decker that maneuvered into the back of a driverless bus that ran over Melissa Burr, 32
Melissa Burr, 32, of Rainham, Kent, died of her injuries after being thrown into the air outside Victoria Station
Popoola, who has been a bus driver for 20 years, told the court the bus slid forward, attributing it to a mechanical failure.
He told police in a statement at the time: “When stopping, my foot slipped from the brake to the accelerator and I collided with the bus in front of me.”
But when Popoola reviewed CCTV footage in court, he changed his account and claimed the bus was moving forward when it wasn’t supposed to.
He said: “The reason for this was that when I saw the video clip, I realized that the only reason the bus would have moved forward was because my foot was unconsciously on the accelerator.
“So that would have moved the bus forward, but that day I didn’t think the bus should go when I released the handbrake, but it started moving.”
He added: “I released the handbrake and the bus started moving forward, which was very unusual.
‘I panicked. I thought the brake was defective. I thought it was the handbrake that was causing the problem.
“My brain didn’t connect to my leg — that I had to use the foot brake.”
When asked why he kept pushing the gas pedal, he said: “I don’t have any clear information about that.
“I’m not sure why. I thought I was going to hit the brakes.
“I’m not sure why my foot was still on the accelerator. Maybe I was shocked…”
Popoola, who has driven Route 507 for 15 years, was questioned by prosecutor Alex Williams, who said: “They said yesterday the speed limit is 3mph. In fact, it’s 10 km/h.
“The speed limit is displayed in two obvious ways. The signpost at the entrance of the bays from Palace Road and also the same sign but painted very large on the road itself at the entrance to each of the bays.
Ms Burr has been in a relationship with James Watson (pictured together) since May 2018.
She was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash outside London Victoria in August 2021
“So how could you wrongly tell the jury that the speed limit is 5km/h when it’s obviously 10km/h?”
Popoola replied, “I would say it was my nerves.”
In a statement released after Ms Burr’s death, her family said: “We are absolutely devastated by the loss and the hole this incident has left in our lives.
“Melissa was a kind and thoughtful soul, had a quirky charm with such a bright future ahead of her.”
Popoola denies causing the death from dangerous driving and causing serious injury from dangerous driving, but admits causing the death from careless driving.
The process goes on.
Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk
https://www.soundhealthandlastingwealth.com/celebrity/bus-driver-tells-trial-his-foot-was-unconsciously-on-the-accelerator-when-killed-commuter/ Bus driver tells court his foot was “unconsciously on the accelerator” when commuter was killed