Woman killed by lorry on first day out of house after shielding for 9 months

A woman was knocked down and killed by a lorry when she left her house for the first time after shielding for nine months during the Covid pandemic, an inquest heard.

Sarah Lewis, 62, stepped into the road without looking as she became distracted by untangling her face mask from her handbag (Photo: Google)

Sarah Lewis, 62, stepped into the road without looking as she became distracted by untangling her face mask from her handbag.

A lorry reversed onto the street and hit Ms Lewis, who became trapped under the vehicle and was pronounced dead at the scene after being released.

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An inquest heard that the woman was classed as clinically vulnerable during the coronavirus pandemic and spent nine months at her home in Dorset, leaving it for the first time on 16 November.

Lorry driver Karl Stanton said he turned off the radio, checked his mirrors and the road around him, but did not see Ms Lewis.

Mr Stanton said he had had to reverse as there were too many parked cars on the street in Lynch Lane, Weymouth.

He said: "On that day I just could not see anybody at all."

PC Leanne Steedman said that from the CCTV footage, Ms Lewis seemed to be "in a world of her own" as she handled her mask which was tangled in her bag.

Forensic collision investigator PC Kelvin Edge said CCTV footage showed Ms Lewis walking behind the lorry as it was reversing, putting her in the driver's blind spot, and that she seemed unaware of the lorry until it was too late.

PC Edge said Mr Stanton had very few options and that he would have done the same manoeuvre.

A post mortem examination found Ms Lewis died from multiple injuries which were fatal.

Coroner Debbie Rookes told the Bournemouth inquest that there was no evidence Ms Lewis intended to take her life and that it appeared she was completely unaware of the lorry, concluding that Ms Lewis died from injuries caused by the accident.

She gave her condolences to all the victim's loved ones and also said she would be writing to the Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps, in order to ask him to consider making rear-view cameras on the back of large goods vehicles mandatory.

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