Bus Driver Killed Man after Mistaking Accelerator for Brake

A female bus driver who killed a 65-year-old Ministry of Defence employee is said to have mistaken the accelerator pedal for the brake, the Daily Mail has revealed.

Newell Lewis, who was born in Jamaica and spent 31 years working for the Royal Mail before joining the Ministry of Defence 11 years ago, was pinned to railings when bus driver Doris Osei mounted the pavement at speed and crashed into a lamp-post after losing control on a corner.

44-year-old Ms Osei, who is said to have received only 30 minutes of training, continued for 165 feet along Albany Road, Camberwell, after hitting Mr Lewis on the 30th January.

Blackfriars Crown Court heard how a trainee doctor aboard the single-decker bus provided first aid to Mr Lewis, who underwent emergency surgery at Kings College Hospital. Sadly, the civil servant died the next day.

No win no fee claims involving road traffic accidents are common in the UK, where a certain standard of skill is expected of drivers. In the present case, the accident was made all the worse for being caused by a professional driver who ought to have known her accelerator from her brake pedal. Whiplash claims are one of the most popular forms of car claims.

Defending Ms Osei at Blackfriars Crown Court, Fayza Benlamkadem said: “She travelled too fast around that corner, in a bus she wasn’t used to driving and unfortunately took the life of another person. She has very little recollection of the events. That is probably due to the post-traumatic stress she has been suffering with. She states she can never forgive herself. She was not experienced on that bend and all the experts say it is a very sharp turn”.

Sharp turn or not, Ms Osei ought to have been able to navigate the corner safely. Mr Lewis’ daughter, Zena, said: “I feel the bus company, alongside Ms Osei, are liable for my father’s death. The bus company have a duty to vet and train all employees.

“On 28th January she was deemed competent after practical training. On 30th January, approximately three to five minutes into her first shift, she managed to cause my father’s death”.

Ms Osei was handed a 12-month suspended jail sentence, 2-year driving ban and community service of 150 hours. Reaching the verdict, judge Aidan Marron QC told Ms Osei: “I accept without hesitation that you weren’t familiar with that vehicle and I accept you weren’t familiar with the route. There was a factor of speed in this untimely death and it is my conclusion that it was your lack of familiarity that is at the bottom of the acceleration”.