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Defendant tells jury road crash victim ‘came out of nowhere’

A man accused of death by careless driving insisted that the sun was too harsh for him to properly see.

Norrell Hull Jr, 48, told a Supreme Court jury yesterday that the conditions on Berry Hill Road, Paget, including shadows cast by trees, made it difficult for him to drive.

He added that Tamra Broadley, the alleged victim, “came out of nowhere” as he drove past the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital’s old parking lot and struck her at the crosswalk.

Mr Hull told the court: “At the time I was still stunned and could not believe that I was in an accident.”

He added: “I was very upset that the accident happened. I hit somebody – I have never hit anybody, so it was quite shocking to me.”

Mr Hull, from Southampton, pleaded not guilty earlier to killing Ms Broadley, a nurse, through careless driving.

He is accused of hitting her on September 9, 2019 outside of the hospital and fracturing her knee.

The fracture was alleged to have created a blood clot that travelled to Ms Broadley’s lungs and killed her on October 4 that same year.

Mr Hull, who yesterday took the stand in his own defence, offered photographs of the road to the jury that he took last September.

He told the court that these photographs depicted “a more accurate view of the sun than the other photos I’ve seen, so you get better idea of the circumstances of the incident”.

Mr Hull pointed out that the sun was much lower in the sky when he took the photographs and that his car’s sun visor gave “zero resistance” towards the glare.

He added that the pictures did not do justice to the circumstances of the road.

Mr Hull said: “The picture itself does no justice as to what that experience was going down that stretch.

“Looking down that picture, it’s clear to see that there is sun – but looking at the sun in real life is so much worse.”

Mr Hull, also a nurse, said that he drove slowly as he approached the pedestrian crosswalk on the day of the accident and did not see anyone crossing the street.

He added that Ms Broadley suddenly came onto the pedestrian crossing and that he did not have enough time to stop his car.

Mr Hull said: “Ms Broadley stepped out on the side of the road. She turned, put her hand on the bonnet [of the car] and then she collapsed right in front of the vehicle.

“I got out of the car and saw that Ms Broadley was using her two hands and her foot to crawl away from the vehicle.”

He added: “I saw that Ms Broadley was conscious, speaking and, in my opinion, not seriously injured. I saw that she was being cared for by other nurses so I decided instead to direct traffic.”

When asked by Carrington Mahoney, for the Crown, Mr Hull said that he had been driving since 2008 and had been working at the hospital since 2010.

Mr Mahoney said that a competent driver, especially one who knew how busy and bright the area could get, should have taken these factors into account and driven cautiously.

He added that Ms Broadley was a “broad” woman with light skin and would have been easy to spot on the road, regardless of whether or not there were shadows.

The trial continues.

• It is The Royal Gazette’s policy not to allow comments on stories regarding criminal court cases. This is to prevent any statements being published that may jeopardise the outcome of that case.