Share this @internewscast.com
The driver of the Croydon tram that crashed killing seven passengers yesterday denied being asleep before or at the time it came off the rails.
Alfred Dorris, 49, was allegedly going three times the recommended speed before his tram derailed on a sharp curve at Sandilands in south London, killing seven passengers and seriously injuring 19 more.
Dorris is on trial at the Old Bailey for failing to take ‘reasonable care’ of the health and safety of himself and his 69 passengers on November 9, 2016.
Under cross-examination yesterday, he repeatedly insisted that he did not believe fatigue had contributed to what he described as a ‘confused’ and ‘disorientated’ state that left him believing he was travelling the other direction on the track.
Prosecutor Jonathan Ashley-Norman KC asked him whether he had failed to take reasonable care of his passengers.
Driver Alfred Dorris at Croydon Magistrates Court for the first court hearing in the Croydon tram crash prosecution
The Office of Rail and Road is prosecuting Transport for London after seven passengers died and 51 were injured in the derailment in south London in November 2016
Dorris said: ‘I turned up for work that morning as a professional driver as I always do.
‘It just went horribly wrong for me. It’s not for me to say if I did or didn’t.’
When asked if fatigue might have contributed to the confusion he described, Dorris said: ‘I wouldn’t say so, no.’
Pressed again by the prosecutor if he might have been disorientated from having been asleep, Dorris said: ‘No, I wasn’t asleep. I was disorientated.’
Dorris described how the disorientation had left him believing he was heading for Lloyd Park, and not the curve at Sandilands, and so did not feel he needed to immediately apply the brakes.
He said there were no warning signs for the disorientation, adding ‘it just crept up’ on him.
Dorris, from Beckenham, south-east London, denies a single charge of failing to take reasonable care at work under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
The crash resulted in the death of Donald Collett, 62
The 19-year-old Dean Chinnery also died following the crash
Phil Seary, 57, was among seven other people who passed away from the train crash in 2016