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  1. ITV Report

Ambulance driver denies death by careless driving

  • Click below to watch a report by ITV News Anglia's Serena Sandhu

A court has been told that an "experienced" ambulance driver whose vehicle hit and killed a pedestrian on a marked crossing near Chelmsford while she responded to an emergency call could not remember if her siren was on.

Faye Parson, 41, denies causing the death of 77-year-old dentist Michael Daly by careless driving.

Michael Daly died after four months after being hit by an ambulance near Chelmsford.

The ambulance had its blue lights on and was responding to an urgent call when she pulled into the wrong lane to overtake a queue of traffic as she approached a pedestrian crossing, Chelmsford Crown Court heard on Tuesday.

Peter Clement, prosecuting, said the traffic lights were on red as Mr Daly crossed the A414 Main Road in the village of Danbury, Essex on his way home from his dental surgery.

He added that Mr Daly, who was "fit and healthy", was wearing a dark overcoat and dark trousers and that it was nearly dark at the time of the collision, at around 5pm on 4 February 2016.

Michael Daly, 77, died in hospital four months after being hit by the ambulance.

The speed limit was 30mph and the ambulance was recorded at 29mph immediately before the collision.

The passenger-side wing mirror of the ambulance hit Mr Daly and he was flung into a black van in queuing traffic, the court heard.

He suffered severe brain injuries and was taken to St George's Hospital in Tooting, London by air ambulance.

His life support machine was switched off four months later on 3 June 2016 after he contracted the MRSA superbug and suffered a cardiac arrest.

Michael Daly suffered severe head injuries and died in hospital four months after the incident.

"This case is perhaps a tragic illustration of the responsibilities imposed on all drivers but in this case of emergency vehicles when responding to urgent calls and the particular care which is required by them while driving, the care expected of a competent and careful driver.<

"Miss Parson was driving in the wrong lane, overtaking traffic and approaching a pedestrian crossing.

"That's the scenario with which we are concerned."

– Peter Clement, Prosecution lawyer
Michael Daly was using a pedestrian crossing in Danbury when the incident happening in February 2016. Credit: ITV News Anglia

Parson, of Church Street, Braintree, Essex, told police she could not remember if her siren was on, Mr Clement said.

He continued: "She could not recall if she had her sirens on as she approached that crossing but she said at interview probably not as the road was clear and she did not foresee any problems.

"Asked about the traffic lights at that crossing as she approached she told police she had no specific recollection whether they were on green or red for her as they approached but by virtue of her speed and training if they were on red she would have treated them as a stop or a give way sign.

"She did not and therefore she reasoned the lights must have been on green for her."

A data processor fitted to the ambulance confirmed its blue lights were on and its siren was armed for use, but it did not record whether the siren was used.

Mr Clement said: "No-one for a moment is suggesting Miss Parson set out on that journey intending to drive poorly or with a disregard for other users' road safety.

"It doesn't enter into this."

He said the issue was whether her driving met the standards expected of a competent and careful driver.