Cyclist doctor died after being hit by HGV driver whose 'view obstructed by dashboard ornaments'

A HGV driver who hit and killed a cycling doctor had his view obscured by ornaments and objects on his dashboard, a court was told. Robert Bradbury had a table with trinkets at the front of his cab, it was alleged, when he struck Suzanna Bull , who worked at Birmingham’s Children’s Hospital. The 32-year-old suffered fatal injuries in the crash on October 9 in 2017.

It is claimed Bradbury’s driving fell “far below the standards of a careful and competent driver.”

Suzanna Bull

Bradbury, 50, of Cambridge Way, Acocks Green, has denied causing death by dangerous driving and an alternative charge of causing death by careless driving. Michael Duck QC, prosecuting, said the defendant had been driving his 32 tonne Skania HGV along Pershore Road towards Birmingham city centre at around 4.15pm on the day of the tragedy. He reached the junction with Priory Road and stopped behind a van because the lights had turned red.

Mr Duck said that Dr Bull had been out on a bicycle ride with her brother and that she had been travelling in the same direction and she also stopped at the lights. “As far as Dr Bull was concerned she had positioned herself in a designated cycle lane,” he said. Mr Duck said the doctor intended to go straight on while the lorry driver intended to turn left.

Cyclist doctor died after being hit by HGV driver whose 'view obstructed by dashboard ornaments'The scene at Pershore Road where cyclist Suzanna Bull, a doctor at Birmingham Children’s Hospital, was killed in a collision

He said Dr Bull passed the lorry on the inside and got to three and a half metres in front of the cab “where she should have been able to be seen.”

Mr Duck said the lorry then started moving and caught up with her within a short period of time and then turned left. “The consequences were obvious. She was dragged under the lorry and was crushed.

She died at the scene,” he said. Mr Duck said there were about 30 seconds before the collision took place and that Bradbury “would have been aware of the presence of the cyclist.” He added: “The road system was set up to protect cyclists.

As far as Dr Bull was concerned she was wearing conspicuous bright pink clothing and so was difficult to miss.”

Cyclist doctor died after being hit by HGV driver whose 'view obstructed by dashboard ornaments'Suzanna Bull

Mr Duck said the doctor was captured on both the front and rear cameras on the lorry. He said Bradbury had a tray table on his dashboard and had put items on it including a fan, a cap, a satellite navigation system, trinkets and ornaments. Mr Duck said: “Bradbury had placed items in his vehicle which created this problem.

They restricted the view he had of the front wind screen.” He added: “Had that table not been in that position there was a very good chance that Bradbury would have seen Dr Bull. He was compromised and had compromised himself.

“This was not just a one off. It was something he had done on a regular basis despite being warned that it was creating an obstruction.” The defendant’s vehicle, he said, had been inspected on March 25 and it was pointed out to him that the tray table was a potential hazard.

(proceeding)

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