3 Aug 2009

Truck driver accused of causing police officer's death

8:04 pm on 3 August 2009

A recording of a police interview with a truck driver accused of causing the death of a high-ranking police officer was played at a defended hearing in the Lower Hutt District Court on Monday.

Desmond Wilson, 45, is accused of careless driving causing death.

Mr Wilson was driving a truck that struck Superintendent Steve Fitzgerald as he cycled home on the roundabout at Petone, north of Wellington on 19 June last year.

In the police interview recorded four hours after the collision and shown to the court, Mr Wilson says he is gutted that someone lost their life.

He told police he felt a bump and looked back to see someone lying in the road.

Mr Wilson says he parked his truck, called for an ambulance, and walked to where passers-by were trying to help Mr Fitzgerald.

The defence argues the collision occured when the wheels of Mr Wilson's trailor unit crossed a white line that was separating cyclists from other traffic.

Earlier, computer analyst Ian Baker, who was riding a motorcycle, testified on Monday that he saw Mr Fitzgerald and his bicycle fall under the wheels of the trailer unit.

Mr Baker said he earlier thought the cyclist "was a goner" because he was not highly visible and was in a "silly position" on the road.

However, another cycling witness, Roger Brown, told the court Mr Fitzgerald was visible and clearly safety-conscious.