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Driver of a runaway tipper truck which killed four people in a horror smash outside a school denies causing their deaths by dangerous driving

  • Mitzi Steady, Robert Parker, Philip Allen, and Stephen Vaughan all died
  • The victims were killed by a runaway tipper truck in Bath last year
  • The vehicle’s driver, Phillip Potter, 20, denies series of charges
  • Boss Matthew Gordon, 30, and mechanic Peter Wood, 55, also in dock

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The driver of a tipper truck that killed four people in a horror smash outside a school today denied causing their deaths by dangerous driving

Two other men have also denied the charges against them after the tragedy in Bath, Somerset, on February 9 last year.

Mitzi Steady, four, Robert Parker, 59, Philip Allen, 52, and Stephen Vaughan, 34, all died when they were struck by the ‘heavily loaded’ Scania truck carrying aggregate on Lansdown Lane in Upper Weston just after 4pm.

The vehicle’s driver, Phillip Potter, 20, his boss Matthew Gordon, 30, and mechanic Peter Wood, 55, face 14 charges in connection with the incident.

Tragedy: Mitzi Steady, four, pictured, Robert Parker, 59, Philip Allen, 52, and Stephen Vaughan, 34, all died when they were hit by a tipper truck in Bath last year

Tragedy: Mitzi Steady, four, pictured, Robert Parker, 59, Philip Allen, 52, and Stephen Vaughan, 34, all died when they were hit by a tipper truck in Bath last year

Phillip John Potter appearing at Bristol Crown Court Mathew Gordon appearing at Bristol Crown Court

In the dock: Phillip Potter, 20, left in February, who was driving, his boss Matthew Gordon, 30, right, and mechanic Peter Wood, 55, face 14 charges in connection with the incident

They appeared at Bristol Crown Court and denied the charges against them.

Their trial, expected to last between three and four weeks, is due to open at the court on Tuesday afternoon.

High Court judge Mr Justice Langstaff outlined the case to the prospective jury of seven men and five women.

‘On February 9 last year, a lorry, heavily loaded, went down Lansdown Lane in Bath,’ the judge said.

‘In its path along the road, the lorry came into contact with and killed a child – a four-year-old girl – crossing at a pedestrian crossing and injured the grandmother who was taking her across the crossing.

‘It hit other cars and there’s no dispute that a consequence of those collisions was that three of the occupants of those cars died and others may have sustained injuries.

‘If you happened to live locally at the time, or possibly if you lived farther afield, you may have heard some of the details of this case.’

The judge said the guilt or innocence of the three defendants in the case would be decided by the jury.

‘It is a very important case,’ he added. ‘It is therefore all the more important that you take your obligations to serve on the jury seriously.’

Crime scene: Police stand beside the lorry in Bath where four people died on February 9, 2015

Crime scene: Police stand beside the lorry in Bath where four people died on February 9, 2015

Potter, of Dauntsey, Gloucestershire, denied the 10 charges against him.

He is accused of causing the deaths of Mitzi, Mr Parker, Mr Allen and Mr Vaughan by dangerous driving and by careless driving.

The 20-year-old is also charged with causing serious injuries to Karla Brennan and Margaret Rogers – Mitzi’s grandmother – by dangerous driving.

Gordon, also of Dauntsey, Gloucestershire, denied the 14 charges against him.

He is accused of the manslaughter of Mitzi, Mr Parker, Mr Allen and Mr Vaughan by failing to ensure that the brakes of the truck were in a safe condition.

The 30-year-old is also charged with causing their deaths by dangerous driving and by careless driving, and causing serious injuries to Mrs Brennan and Mrs Rogers by dangerous driving.

Wood, of Brinkworth, Gloucestershire, denied the four charges against him.

He is accused of the manslaughter of Mitzi, Mr Parker, Mr Allen and Mr Vaughan by failing to ensure that the brakes of the truck were in a safe condition.

Adam Vaitilingam QC, prosecuting, is expected to open the case at Bristol Crown Court on Tuesday.

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References

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