A seven-year-old boy with an “infectious smile” was flung from his booster seat and killed when a lorry driver failed to notice his family’s broken down car in broad daylight, a court heard today.
Christopher Mallett said he must have “blinked” as his DAF lorry cab ploughed into the back of a stationary Toyota RAV4 pulled over on a dual carriageway in March last year.
The family of two adults and two children inside was spun off the road through a hedge and wooden fence and into a field as the silver car was crushed by the impact, trapping them inside.
Little Mohammed Ali Ahmed who was sitting behind the driver, was thrown forward through the car, suffering fatal head injuries.
Professional lorry driver Mallett, from Clyde Place, Bletchley, denies one count of causing death by dangerous driving in relation to the crash along the A4146 by Stoke Hammond in Buckinghamshire.
The jury of seven men and five women was told that the 34-year-old had admitted a lesser count of causing death by careless driving, which had not been accepted by prosecutors.
Ian Hope, prosecuting, said it had been Mallett’s “failure to observe the road ahead” that led him to slew into the broken down car which was clearly visible to drivers on the clear afternoon.
The Toyota’s driver, Sajida Parveen, was forced to pull over and wait for help after having engine problems while driving back home from Costco in Milton Keynes, with her aunt, niece and nephew.
As there was no hard shoulder, the car came to a halt on the far left-hand side of the slow lane, with the hazard lights on.
Ms Parveen - Mohammed’s aunt - said it “didn’t seem safe” for anyone to get out of the car as traffic raced by at speed, so they remained inside with the youngster on his booster seat, but she did not feel in danger until she spotted the lorry in her rear view mirror.
“I could see a lorry coming up behind us and it did seem to be driving fast,” she said.
“It was really close and I had closed my eyes - the next thing I knew is that the lorry had hit us.
“It felt like we were flying through the air. When I opened my eyes I didn’t know where we were.”
Emergency services raced to the scene, but despite paramedics calling for an air ambulance, they were unable to save young Mohammed, who was declared dead at the roadside at 2.33pm from multiple injuries, including severe head injuries.
Mohammed’s headteacher at Haydon Abbey School in Aylesbury released a tribute on his family’s behalf, paying tribute to the “hardworking and enthusiastic little boy with a huge passion for learning.”
Judith Ejdowski added: “He was very adventurous and loved to try new things. He was a very happy little boy with an infectious smile and loved to entertain his classmates by telling jokes and stories to try new things.
The trial continues.