United Kingdom

Sarah Lewis dies after being struck by a truck in Weymouth, Dorset

A woman who had been shielding at home due to Covid-19 was struck by a lorry during her first trip out in several months had been untangling her facemask at the time of the incident, her inquest was told. 

Sarah Lewis, 62, from Weymouth, Dorset was stuck and killed on November 16, 2020 during her first trip out in public since entering lockdown in March.  

Her inquest heard that CCTV footage showed Ms Lewis walking out behind a reversing HGV which struck and killed her. 

Sarah Lewis, 62, died after she was struck by a reversing truck in Weymouth, Dorset in November 2020

Her inquest heard that the truck was forced to reverse because parked cars were blocking its way. CCTV footage of the tragedy showed Ms Lewis fiddling with a face mask in her handbag while crossing the road. She walked out behind the reversing truck

The inquest heard that firefighters were able to rescue Ms Lewis from under the truck but unfortunately she died at the scene

Shocked onlookers warned the driver and tried to comfort Ms Lewis until the arrival of emergency workers. 

According to the Dorset Echo, Ms Lewis was waiting for a taxi when she decided to cross the road. She was distracted by her face mask which was tangled in her handbag as she stepped onto the road. 

The coroner told the inquest Ms Lewis was 'completely unaware of the lorry's presence'. 

The inquest heard that firefighters were able to rescue Ms Lewis from under the truck but unfortunately she died at the scene.  

The truck driver, Karl Stanton said he was forced to reverse because there were too many cars parked on the road. 

He said before beginning his manoeuvre he switched off the radio. He said he checked his mirror and the road around him and did not spot Ms Lewis. 

Eyewitnesses said the lorry's lights were flashing and they could hear the loud bleep warning the vehicle was reversing. 

The inquest heard Ms Lewis walked into a blindspot directly behind the truck. 

Forensic collision investigator PC Kelvin Edge said the truck driver had very few options because of the number of cars parked on the road. He said he would have performed the same reversing manoeuvre. He said Ms Lewis walked directly behind the truck as it was reversing and was in the driver's blind spot. He said the CCTV footage showed Ms Lewis was only aware of the truck when it was too late to react.  

PC Leanne Steedman said footage of the incident showed Ms Lewis appeared to be 'in a world of her own' and was trying to untangle her face mask.  

Dorset assistant coroner Debbie Rookes said there was nothing to suggest Ms Lewis had intended to take her own lie. 

She ruled that Ms Lewis died from multiple injuries sustained from a road traffic collision. 

The inquest heard that the local council has since painted yellow lines on the road to prevent hazardous parking. 

The coroner also wrote to the Transport Secretary to consider making it mandatory to fit reversing cameras to HGVs to prevent similar incidents in future.

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