Lollipop Man, 82, Killed By Driver 'Blinded By Sun'

14/08/2014 16:55 | Updated 22 May 2015

School crossing patrol UK

A court has heard how an 82-year-old lollipop man was mowed down and killed as he helped a pregnant mother and her young child cross a road.

Raymond Elsmore, who had worked as a crossing patrol for 13 years, was flung against the windscreen of a car close to the Queen's Inclosure Primary school in Hampshire after the driver was 'blinded by the sun'.

The driver, Lauren Paul, 22, pleaded not guilty to death by dangerous driving and told Portsmouth Crown Court that the sun was in her eyes and she was trying to demist her mirrors when the accident occurred.

Mr Elsmore was wearing his high visibility jacket and holding up his lollipop sign when Ms Paul's Nissan Micra struck him.

He sustained severe head injuries and later died in hospital.

An accident investigator told the hearing that the sun could have blended in with a high visibility jacket similar to that worn by Mr Elsmore. But Matthew Lawson, prosecuting, said the Highway Code stated that a driver should 'slow down or if necessary stop' if dazzled by bright sunlight.

He added that Ms Paul's driving at the time 'fell below what would be expected of a competent and careful driver in all the circumstances'.

"The charge is that Miss Paul was driving without due care and attention. All drivers must stop when they see a lollipop man," Mr Lawson said.

At the time of the accident Miss Paul told a police officer: "I was driving along the road, the sun was low and my screen was starting to mist. I pulled my visor down and heard a bang. I never saw the guy from first to last."

Toni Ponting, the pregnant mum who Mr Elsmore was seeing across the road, said her 'blood was boiling' after the incident.

"Ray was first to step in the road and there were no cars coming. We had a clear view and we spoke as we crossed. I could see cars coming behind him. Ray did not notice them because he was looking the other way," she said.

"I saw the car approaching Ray and scoop him. It did not appear to slow down but stopped after it hit him. My blood was boiling, at the time being pregnant and hormonal, I was enraged and confused."

"The driver was upset and distraught. I said to the driver, 'could you not see him?' and she said she could not. I told her she should not be driving. It was a cold, clear day and I had no difficulty seeing."

The case continues.


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