Pedestrian dies in Royal Parade truck crash, driver arrested
A PENSIONER has died after being run over by a lorry in what
witnesses described as an horrific collision in Plymouth city centre.
onlookers described hearing a "God almighty thud" followed by a
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commotion when the seven-tonne truck collided with the lady.
The woman, who was 88, was crossing Royal Parade when she was caught under the wheels of the lorry at 9.14am yesterday.
vehicle driver, a 42-year-old city man, was arrested at around 9.35am
on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving, after police
located the vehicle in the city centre's West End.
He has been released on police bail until April 30.
services sealed off a massive area as scenes of crime officers and
forensic specialists worked at the scene until around 2pm.
The closure of Royal Parade caused havoc for drivers around the city centre, with many major routes left at a standstill.
said the lady was heading in the direction of The Hoe near the Civic
Centre and the Big Screen when the tragedy happened.
She is understood to have crossed one lane of traffic, then waited in the middle of the road for westbound vehicles to pass.
She then appeared to collide with a white truck and was pulled under two sets of wheels, said tearful onlookers.
The first doctor on the scene told The Herald the woman died "almost instantly".
Tony Golding-Cook, a voluntary Plims ambulance doctor, arrived within
minutes. Mainly funded by donations, Plims doctors support the
ambulances when there is a serious accident or medical emergency.
Dr Golding-Cook said: "The lady had very serious head injuries and I think death was pretty instantaneous."
At the scene, most witnesses were too distressed to speak about what happened.
But some of the distraught passers-by described the panicked atmosphere among fellow pedestrians.
Thompson, a director of events management business Chaos Production,
was walking to the city centre when the incident happened, and dialled
He said: "I heard a God almighty thud and then people were screaming.
"I just heard a bang and saw a vehicle being driven. Everyone was screaming and I could see there was someone on the ground."
Student Hannah Cutting returned to the scene with flowers as a mark of respect for the lady who died.
The 18-year-old described hearing a loud "thud", then looking down in horror to see the injured pensioner at her feet.
She said: "When I looked down I think I went into shock when I realised what had happened.
"Everybody started bursting into tears. All I could see was her lovely flowery walking stick.
"Then a man covered her up with his jacket.
"Another man was running around frantically ringing everyone."
mum Poppy Knight, from Devonport, described the incident as "horrible",
while 37-year-old Michael Pickford, from the Barbican, called for the
return of the underpass that used to serve pedestrians crossing Royal
Emergency services were on the scene in a flash, said
eyewitnesses, but the woman was pronounced dead on their arrival,
having suffered serious head injuries.
Police closed the busy road and used police tape to seal off an area that stretched well into the Armada Way Piazza.
20 minutes after the incident officers located a truck outside the
McColls newsagents in Market Avenue, near the Pannier Market and Colin
Campbell Court, and a man believed to be the driver was subsequently
The man was taken to Charles Cross Police Station for interview, while the vehicle was guarded by PCSOs ahead of forensic tests.
The arrested man worked for meat wholesaler DB Foods Ltd, a firm based in Poole, Dorset.
The company declined to comment, but said it was "shocked and saddened" by yesterday's events.
seven police cars, two ambulances, a South Western Ambulance Service
rapid response unit, police command unit and numerous PCSOs all
attended, as did Plymouth City Council staff responsible for street
At 10.50am the police cordon was widened, and the crowds of onlookers began to disperse.
Meanwhile, both Citybus and First Devon and Cornwall had to re-route their services.
woman's body lay in the road, on the Westbound side of the pedestrian
crossing, before being removed, allowing collision investigators and
scenes of crime officers to scour the area.
used a white sheet, erecting a tent at around 10.50am and finally
transferring the body to an ambulance at 11.03am.
A spokesman for Devon and Cornwall Constabulary said the force was made aware of the incident at 9.16am.
said: "As with all fatal road traffic collisions, officers from the
road policing department are making enquiries to ascertain the full
facts of the incident."
Inspector Darren Green, who is leading
the investigation, added: "We would urge any members of the public who
witnessed the incident to contact the police."
A South Western
Ambulance Service spokesman said the first call was received at 9.14am
reporting that an elderly female had been involved in an accident with
The service sent a rapid response vehicle and a doctor
to Royal Parade immediately, and they were soon joined by multiple land
However, the woman had already passed away on the paramedics' arrival.
The woman has not yet been named, but is from Plymouth.
were today still trying to track down her next of kin, as well as
interviewing witnesses and collecting CCTV footage from nearby shops
Royal Parade was finally re-opened at around 3pm.
Anybody who saw the collision is asked to call police on 08452 777444 quoting log number 169 of February 26.