Lorry driver cleared over death of elderly Bonnybridge woman

Police investigate the accident which led to 88-year-old Agnes Brzezina's death''Picture: Michael Gillen
Police investigate the accident which led to 88-year-old Agnes Brzezina's death''Picture: Michael Gillen

A lorry driver told of his horror after realising he had run over an elderly woman while manoeuvring his vehicle.

Stephen Hendry said he never saw Agnes Brzezina (88), who had walked in front of his truck at the moment he pulled forward across the pavement at WH Tyres in Bonnybridge.

The 56-year-old driver, who had been collecting tyres for retreading, said the old woman – who walked with a stick, had arthritis, was hard-of-hearing and had poor sight in one eye – must have been in his blind spot.

He said: “I didn’t see anybody. I took every extra care I could possibly take whilst making my manoeuvres, but in all that time I was moving backwards and forwards I didn’t see that woman once.”

Speaking of the aftermath of the collision, when he tried to comfort Mrs Brzezina as she lay critically injured, he said: “I was holding this wee woman’s hands, and I just wanted to change places with her.”

Paramedics removed the pensioner and she was taken to Forth Valley Royal Hospital, where both her legs were amputated.

Eight days after the accident, which occurred on September 26, 2013, she died without regaining consciousness.

Hendry, of Glasgow Road, Port Glasgow, had denied causing her death by careless driving.

Today the jury at Stirling Sheriff Court took just over an hour to decide the charge was not proven.

During his trial, Hendry told how he had learned to drive lorries in the Army, where he served for 22 years, ending as a sergeant, and had driven trucks through war-torn Bosnia.

He also revealed that some years ago he had been awarded the MBE for services to the community, to the blind elderly, to youths and young adults, both while in the Army and afterwards.

The court also heard from tyre company boss William Hughes (57) who had tried to save the elderly woman’s life by improvising a tourniquet with a spanner and piece of rope to stop the flow of blood from her wounds.