Accused in ambulance death crash trial denies being distracted at time of collision (From Bournemouth Echo)
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Richard Husband said he checked mirrors and indicated before attempting to overtake car on morning of collision
5:25pm Wednesday 25th June 2014 in News
A MAN accused of causing the deaths of two people in a horrific ambulance crash has denied that he was distracted by loud music in the moments before the collision.
Richard Husband, of New Forest Drive, Brockenhurst, was allegedly heard by witnesses saying “I didn't see it, I didn't see it - I had my music on,” in the aftermath of the incident.
However, on the third day of a trial at Bournemouth Crown Court today, the 26-year-old - who has no previous convictions - said the music at the time of the crash was not overly loud.
“It was just horrific, really horrific - I was just so shocked,” he said, adding that he had spoken of the music at the scene as it was the only explanation he could think of as to why he didn't realise the ambulance had pulled up alongside his car.
“I thought the music had obscured my hearing of the ambulance sirens,” he said.
Husband had been transporting three teenagers to school as part of his job as a support worker on April 26 last year, the day of the collision.
He had been driving along the A337 Brockenhurst to Lyndhurst road in the same direction as the ambulance before pulling out to overtake the car in front, which had slowed to allow the ambulance to safely pass.
Prosecutors allege that the defendant failed to adequately check his mirrors before attempting to overtake, which the defendant denies.
The court heard that the youngsters in the car had been playing with a smart phone connected by wiring to the Seat Alhambra's speaker system.
However, Husband said the music was not overly loud at the time of the crash as he had asked the teenagers to turn it down some time before.
The defendant said he had checked his right wing mirror before indicating and beginning the manoeuvre.
He added: “I didn't check my rear view mirror.
“I didn't look into my blind spot.”
Jurors have heard from witnesses who reported that they didn't hear the ambulance's sirens, but all who have given evidence agreed that its blue flashing lights were on.
Patient Francis Ironside, 88, who was travelling in the back of the ambulance, and paramedic Gillian Randall, 42, who was driving the vehicle, were both killed in the collision.
Mr Ironside's son David, 64, and paramedic Richard Riley, 32, were badly injured.
Husband denies two counts of causing death by careless driving.
The trial continues.