Mary Watson, 86, denies causing Patrick O’Neill’s death in York

An 86-year-old woman has gone on trial accused of causing the death of an elderly man on a mobility scooter in York.

Mary Elizabeth Watson drove forward while Patrick O’Neill was using the crosswalk in front of her on Fulford Road, alleged Dan Cordey, who prosecuted.

His Ford Fiesta and mobility scooter collided and although his injuries were initially believed to be minor, he was diagnosed with broken ribs at hospital and died nine days later.

The York Crown Court jury viewed footage of the incident on the dash cam.

Watson, of Wighill Lane, Tadcaster, denies causing Mr O’Neill’s death by reckless driving.

O’Neill was 80 years old and lived in York.

Opening the indictment, Cordey said that Watson was driving his Ford Fiesta from his home to York on June 5, 2019 to do some shopping.

He drove along the A64 to the Fulford Junction and headed down the Fulford Road towards the center of town. She knew the way, the court listened.

At approximately 10:40 a.m., he was approaching the intersection of Fulford Road and Hospital Fields Road.

Immediately behind her was Barry Robson in a pickup truck.

As they approached the traffic light at the junction of Fulford Road and Hospital Fields Road, the lights were red against them.

Watson stopped at the stop line for cars with Robson behind her and a third car behind him, Cordey said.

In evidence read to the jury, Robson said he saw a man on a mobility scooter on the Imphal Barracks side of Fulford Road in the crosswalk of the crossing.

After traffic stopped turning onto Fulford Road from Hospital Fields Road, he saw Mr. O’Neill starting to cross Fulford Road at the crosswalk.

“I don’t think he had the green man,” Robson’s statement read.

“I didn’t understand why I was crossing. I guess she thought the way was clear.

O’Neill was in the middle of the road when the light turned green for traffic heading downtown and Watson’s car pulled away, the statement said.

“In my opinion, she moved forward as he was crossing the street,” Robson’s statement reads.

“It was hard to tell who hit who or if they hit each other.”

He said the driver of the car behind him came to the aid of Mr. O’Neill.

He turned on the hazard lights and with a fourth driver directed traffic and called emergency services.

The weather was fine and dry.

Cordey said O’Neill already had “a number of medical conditions” before June 5.

Following the collision, Watson drove over the intersection and stopped shortly afterward at what he considered to be a safe spot.

Interviewed by police on July 29, 2019, she said she didn’t see any obstructions in front of her when the lights turned green. She put her car in gear and drove forward.

He hadn’t gotten very far when he heard a knock, the court heard it.

The trial continues.

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