Trial begins into death crash of Yesmine, 10
A Stevenage driver accused of killing a 10-year-old school girl as she crossed a road near the town centre has gone on trial today accused of causing her death by careless driving.
Yesmine Moumen, a Bedwell Primary School pupil, was holding her mother Yvonne’s hand when she was hit by Kevin Ruder’s white E250 Mercedes at the traffic-light crossing on Monkswood Way on December 21 2010, Cambridge Crown Court heard. She died later in Lister Hospital.
The prosecution alleged that although he was not breaking the speed limit he was driving too fast for the conditions. The court heard that Ruder was travelling at about 35mph.
Ruder, 45, of Keller Close, denies the charges against him.
Opening the case, prosecutor Robin Miric said the accident happened at about 4pm on a cold, damp Friday afternoon. He said it had been snowing but the road surface was clear.
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“From the witnesses it’s clear that the mother and daughter arrived at the pedestrian crossing and stood waiting for the lights to go red,” he said.
“There may be an argument that the actual layout may have caused a pedestrian waiting to be distracted by another ‘green man’ further on in the sequence, but it’s certainly the case that Mrs Moumen and her daughter made a tragic mistake and stepped out into the carriageway when the lights were almost certainly against them.
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“It seems Mrs Moumen at some stage changed her mind but by then it was too late and Yesmine had already been hit by Ruder’s car in the nearside lane.”
He added that Yesmine was thrown into the air and despite the public rushing to help and paramedics arriving swiftly, the girl was pronounced dead in hospital just after 5pm.
Mum and daughter were on their way to Asda on the other side of the three lane carriageway. Ruder was approaching from the Six Hills Way roundabout just after sunset.
The prosecution described how witness Julia Uzokwe moved into the Asda filter lane to turn right. A white car behind her flashed its lights and as it went past she thought the driver “was in a hurry”.
Another witness spoke of the Mercedes accelerating past him in the second lane as they both exited the roundabout and he said in a statement that he thought “bloody hell you are hacking it a bit mate”.
A third eye witness spoke of hearing a “whoosh” as a white sporty car went past to her left.
Giving evidence to the jury, Mrs Uzokwe said she slowed as she began joining the filter lane from the middle lane and a white Mercedes flashed her from behind.
“My impression was he was in a hurry,” she said.
She continued: “Because I was looking at it - I was stationary - I noticed two people about to cross. It was like they were hesitating to cross. Everything happened so fast. I was still looking at this car and at the same time the people about to cross.
“I knew something had happened. I couldn’t see the impact. I just saw some black things flying into the air. I knew the car had hit one or two of them.”
The hearing is expected to last until Friday.