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Pedestrian crushed by lorry

PUBLISHED: 15:53 02 April 2008 | UPDATED: 11:34 12 August 2010

A POPULAR housing manager crushed by a lorry on her way to work died in a terrible and tragic accident , a coroner said last Wednesday.

A POPULAR housing manager crushed by a lorry on her way to work died in a "terrible and tragic accident", a coroner said last Wednesday.

Celita Parker, 29, was killed instantly as she crossed in front of the truck outside Sydenham rail station, yards from her home.

Roadside CCTV captured the accident as the lorry rolled over her at just 5mph.

Driver Joseph Reilly was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving, Southwark Coroner's Court heard. But prosecutors dropped the case after evidence showed he could not have been expected to spot Ms Parker from his cab.

Witness Gerald Whitworth was walking along Sydenham Road, where Ms Parker lived, on September 21 last year when he "heard raised voices".

He tearfully told the inquest, packed with Ms Parker's friends and family: "I looked up and saw the truck move forward. I saw Celita coming out from under the front wheels then going under the rear wheels.

"The truck stopped in the line of traffic. It had probably been going at five miles an hour."

Mr Reilly, who worked for gravel and cement firm Semex, was travelling west but had stopped to let a car park when Ms Parker stepped into the road.

He said: "I checked my mirrors, disengaged the handbrake, checked my mirrors again. I pulled away. I felt a slight bump on the offside.

"I got out and saw the lady there."

Mr Reilly, a lorry driver of 26 years, said he received safety training a month before the smash and had four mirrors on his cab.

Accident investigator PC Gary Lawrence said the base of Mr Reilly's windscreen was 2.1metres from the ground and Ms Parker was just under 1.7metres tall.

This meant she might only have been visible for up to two seconds in the driver's nearside concave mirror before she was hit.

Ms Parker was pronounced dead at the scene. A post mortem found she died from multiple injuries. Verdict: accidental death.

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