Warwick man John Alldridge, 75, was struck and killed by the Jeep Cherokee.
Warwick man John Alldridge, 75, was struck and killed by the Jeep Cherokee.

Trial starts for Warwick man who killed elderly pedestrian

A WARWICK man who struck and killed an elderly pedestrian with his car has pleaded not guilty to dangerous driving causing death.

Garth Nathan Merkle is on trial in the Warwick District Court for dangerous operation of a vehicle causing the death of John Edwin Alldridge in February 2017.

Mr Merkle pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The court heard Mr Merkle was driving along Wood St, near the Warwick Vines Motel, at about 7.30pm when Mr Alldridge left the traffic island and moved into the line of Merkle's Jeep Cherokee.

Crown prosecutor Steven Dickson said although Mr Merkle swerved to avoid the pedestrian, Mr Alldridge was struck by the vehicle and died on the side of the road.

Mr Dickson said the driver kept driving but soon U-turned when he realised he had hit the man.

Mr Dickson told the court it was the Crown case Mr Merkle had adequate lighting and time to avoid Mr Alldridge.

"If the defendant commenced braking when John first stepped onto the west lanes, then he would have been able to come to a full stop within eight metres of John," Mr Dickson said.

'There is no evidence to indicate the defendant took evasive action. We've seen from the investigation there is no evidence of any braking at the scene.

"In fact, a witness that saw the collision noted the defendant didn't put on his brakes at all when he collided."

Defence lawyer David Jones told the jury that his client's actions could not be categorised under the eight classifications of 'dangerous driving'.

"The incident that happened on the 12th of February, 2017, was tragic but unlike many other trials you might expect to hear in this court, this is the type of allegation or potential offence anyone could commit," he said.

"It is tragic, but you need to determine whether it is criminal."

The trial continues today.



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