Lorry driver apologises to family of tragic James Sidwell, 20, after A63 death

A lorry driver who hit a young man on the A63 has spoken of his distress about the tragic death. James Sidwell, 20, died in Hull Royal Infirmary four days after being hit by a lorry on the A63 close to South Hunsley School on New Year’s Day at around 5.20am. Sadly, for reasons unknown, James walked in front of the lorry.

In an inquest held at Hull Coroners Court on Monday, coroner Ian Sprakes dismissed suicide as a conclusion and gave the cause of death as “multiple brain injury as a result of a road traffic collision”. Giving evidence during the inquest, the lorry driver apologised to the family, who described James’ death as “a tragic accident, where no one was to blame”. Click here to read their full tribute to James.

James Sidwell was popular, caring and generous

  Describing the crash, lorry driver said: “As I was driving I saw a flash of something to my left and all of a sudden heard a bang and saw that something had run in front of me, but I had no time to brake.

“I screamed to myself at what had happened as I knew what had gone on straight away, and I’ve got no idea why, but I started to reverse the vehicle.

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“The pedestrian was on top of me before I could react and I’ve no idea why he ran out in front of me, but I couldn’t stop. “I’d like to take the time to say I’m sorry that I couldn’t have stopped.”

Lorry driver apologises to family of tragic James Sidwell, 20, after A63 deathTributes were left at the scene

The driver said he called emergency services straight away, with a first responder attending the scene and paramedics then taking Mr Sidwell to hospital for urgent treatment.

Watch: What is an inquest?

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Forensic collision investigator Andrew Cross undertook a reconstruction of the crash, as well as examining the lorry involved and determined that there were “no defects” to the vehicle, and that the lorry was going below the speed limit at 53mph at the time of the incident. The lorry driver was tested for drugs and drink at the time of the accident, and it was ruled by police that “there was no case for the driver to answer for criminally”, with Mr Cross telling the court that “the pedestrian ran across the carriageway into the lorry, leaving the driver insufficient time to stop”.

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The latest tributes

“I still have flashbacks about what happened and it came as a total shock.

I’ve never been involved in anything like this before,” said the driver, who has held a spotless HGV licence for the last seven years. “I did not have any physical injuries, but was left with psychological injuries, and my company have provided me with counselling for this. “I’d had a good night’s sleep the night before, have good eyesight and had more than enough time to get to Hessle for the delivery and was even going to stop at the services for a rest, so I was in no rush, and I’ve had no penalties on my licence.

“I’m just sorry that I couldn’t have stopped.”

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