A MOTORIST accused of causing the death of a young woman by careless driving had told a court she had not seen her in the roadway.

Christine Hannah explained that she saw an object lying in Church Road, Tranmere, but believed it was a builders’ type bag and thought it safe to drive over it.

Liverpool Crown Court has heard that it was in fact unconscious 20-year-old Kirsty Upton who had collapsed into the roadway.

Hannah’s Ford Fiesta dragged her along for about 40 metres before she got out to investigate as her car seemed to be going slower. But not seeing any reason she then carried on for another six metres before stopping again and finding the body trapped beneath her car.

The 57-year-old defendant, of Coniston Road, Neston, has pleaded not guilty to causing death by careless driving.

The jury has heard that Ms Upton had been near St Catherine’s Hospital about 6.40 am on March 15 last year in her pyjamas and dressing gown.

She collapsed not long before Mrs Hannah came upon the scene and was lying in the roadway. Although it was not known why she had collapsed she had recently been known to suffer from fits, said Jonathan Duffy, prosecuting.

He claimed that the death of Kirsty was “avoidable” and occurred because the manner of the defendant’s driving fell below the standard expected. “She failed to exercise sufficient care and attention in her driving.

“Tragically rather than taking avoiding action such as slowing down until she could see precisely what was in front of her or by deviating from her course to drive around she carried on and drove over the obstruction.”

In a statement to police Hannah said she had seen what she thought was a bag in the road but could not avoid it as there was an on-coming vehicle.

The court has heard that CCTV footage showed there was no on coming vehicle and Hannah told the jury that she had believed it was an industrial type builders’ bag and not a person. She said she was at a loss to know why somebody would be lying in the road.

Hannah, who has no convictions at all and has a clean driving licence, said in a statement after the accident that she was distraught at the thought that someone had passed away as a result of the accident and expressed her condolences to the victim’s family.

The case continues