A MAN accused of causing the death of a 71-year-old woman by driving carelessly in a Poole road thought her body was a rubbish bag that had blown into the road, a court has heard.

Ian Catley is on trial in relation to a collision which led to the death of pedestrian Jacqueline Bradnick.

Prosecutors allege Catley, of Glenferness Avenue, Bournemouth, failed to take evasive action during the incident in Poole Road, Branksome, shortly after 11pm on January 18, 2019.

Opening the prosecution’s case at Bournemouth Crown Court yesterday, barrister Isabel Delamere told the jury Ms Bradnick had ended up on the ground in the road near a bus stop before being driven over by Catley’s Suzuki Alto. The circumstances that led to her being on the road surface are not known, she said.

Miss Delamere said a Volkswagen Touran, which was in front of Catley, and a BMW directly behind him had taken action to avoid Ms Bradnick but Catley continued straight over her body.

She said the defendant told police he thought a rubbish bag had blown into the road and he went right over it.

“I didn’t, because the road was wet, divert left or right,” he said to officers.

Catley then had "the most tremendous shock”, with him telling police “it was like I had gone over something that was concrete”.

Ms Bradnick sustained a fractured skull, with other head and facial wounds, dozens of fractured ribs and other broken bones, as well as internal injuries. She was pronounced dead at Poole Hospital a short time later.

Pathologists concluded that the injuries were in keeping with someone being run over by a motor vehicle or motor vehicles, Miss Delamere said.

While the barrister said she was not suggesting he knew it was Ms Bradnick in the road, she claimed Catley had the chance to act.

“He (Catley) had time, in a nutshell, to do what the driver in front of him did and what the driver behind him did and take evasive action,” she said.

Witness William Dring, who was walking behind Ms Bradnick along Poole Road before the incident, said he heard a loud “bang” which caught his attention and then saw someone being flung into the air above the height of a car.

He said this car did not stop at the scene and then another vehicle ran over Ms Bradnick’s legs and pelvis. Mr Dring said initially he thought this second car also did not stop but later saw it down the road. Defending, Nick Robinson told the court the second car Mr Dring described was Catley’s Suzuki.

Miss Delamere earlier said two pathologists concluded none of Ms Bradnick’s injuries were consistent with her being hit into the air by a car.

The deceased had an alcohol level of 190 milligrams per 100 millilitres of blood – the drink drive limit is 80 milligrams per 100 millilitres of blood. The defendant provided a negative breath test result at the scene.

Catley, aged 71, denies causing death by careless driving. The trial continues.