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Bus driver tells trial his foot was ‘unconsciously on the accelerator’ when killed commuter 


Mar 22, 2023
Olusofa Popoola (pictured), 60, was driving an electric 507 single decker which shunted into the back of a driverless bus that ran over Melissa Burr, 32

A bus driver who killed a commuter when he failed to brake has told a trial that his foot was ‘unconsciously on the accelerator’.

Olusofa Popoola, 60, was driving an electric 507 one decker which shunted into the again of a driverless bus that ran about Melissa Burr, 32, outside hectic Victoria Station in London on August 10, 2021.

Popoola, from Peckham, south London, admits producing her loss of life by careless driving but denies the charge of dying by perilous driving. He also denies seriously injuring fellow bus driver Diana Mathuranayagam in the similar collision.

The Aged Bailey has listened to how Ms Burr, 32, from Rainham, Kent, was crushed and propelled into the air in front of two horrified colleagues – and later on died from her accidents.

Ms Burr experienced been walking in between two buses at the time of the horror collision at all around 8.25am that morning. 

Olusofa Popoola (pictured), 60, was driving an electric powered 507 single decker which shunted into the again of a driverless bus that ran above Melissa Burr, 32

Melissa Burr, 32, from from Rainham, Kent, died of her injuries after being propelled into the air outside Victoria station

Melissa Burr, 32, from from Rainham, Kent, died of her accidents following becoming propelled into the air outside the house Victoria station 

Popoola, who has been a bus driver for 20 several years, explained to the court docket that the bus experienced lurched forward and he attributed it to a mechanical defect.

At the time he informed police in a assertion: ‘In the existence of stopping my foot slipped off the brake and onto the accelerator and I collided with the bus in front.’ 

But on examining the CCTV footage in courtroom, Popoola modified his account boasting the bus was going ahead when it was not supposed to.

He reported: ‘The purpose becoming, that when I saw the video clip I realised that the only purpose the bus would have moved forward was simply because my foot was unconsciously on the accelerator.

‘So that is what would have moved the bus ahead, but on that working day my notion is that when I launched the handbrake the bus was not supposed to go but it commenced to move.’

He added: ‘I disengaged the handbrake and the bus begun to move forward which was quite abnormal.

‘I panicked. I assumed the brake experienced unsuccessful. I believed it was the handbrake which started off the challenge.

‘My mind did not connect with my leg – that I had to use the footbrake.’

Questioned why he continued to press the accelerator he mentioned: ‘I do not have any sturdy information about that.

‘I am not certain the cause why. I thought I was pressing the brake.

‘I’m not absolutely sure why my foot was however on the accelerator. Perhaps I was shocked…’

Popoola, who has been driving the 507 route for the very last 15 decades, was quizzed by prosecutor Alex Williams, who claimed: ‘You stated yesterday that the velocity restrict was 5kmph. It is 10mph, in point.

‘The pace restrict is shown in two evident approaches. The signpost in the entrance of the bays from palace street and also the exact same sign but painted in extremely huge sizing on the highway alone on the entrance to each of the bays.

Ms Burr had been in a relationship with James Watson (pictured together) since May 2018

Ms Burr experienced been in a romance with James Watson (pictured jointly) given that May 2018

She was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash outside London Victoria in August 2021

She was pronounced lifeless at the scene of the crash outside the house London Victoria in August 2021

‘So how could you have mistakenly told the jury that the velocity limit was 5kmph, when it’s definitely 10mph?’

Popoola replied: ‘I would say it was down to my nerves.’

In a assertion introduced immediately after Ms Burr’s dying her spouse and children explained: ‘We are completely devastated by loss and the gap that this incident has still left in our life.

‘Melissa was a sort and thoughtful soul, experienced a quirky allure with such a bright potential in advance of her.’

Popoola denies creating dying by harmful driving and leading to major injuries by hazardous driving but admits triggering dying by careless driving.

The demo carries on.

Resource: | This write-up initially belongs to isles

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