A Sydney police officer was driving at 133 kilometres per hour in a 70-zone a second before he crashed into a grandmother, leaving her with a severe brain injury, his trial has heard.
Harry Thomas Little, 42, has pleaded not guilty to dangerous driving occasioning grievous bodily harm after his highway patrol car slammed into the driver side of Sydney woman Gai Vieira’s Mercedes in September 2018.
Ms Vieira had been turning right onto Cronulla’s six-lane Kingsway at the same time Little tried to chase down a Volkswagen whose driver was suspected of illegally using their mobile phone.
“Whilst driving at 133 kilometres per hour … the crown case is that this police car did not have its police siren on or its police lights on,” a crown prosecutor told Little’s District Court trial on Tuesday.
Ms Vieira suffered a severe brain injury “from which she will likely never recover”, the prosecutor said.
The Sydney jury hearing the case is expected to focus on the 45 seconds between the Volkswagen driver driving past Little and him colliding with Ms Vieira.
Little, who joined the police force in 2002, was stationed near Kingsway when he received a radio call about the driver’s suspected use of a mobile phone.
But he was not immediately able to turn into the arterial road due to traffic, the jury was told.
By the time he did, the Volkswagen was about 20 seconds past the senior constable’s location.
The jury is expected to hear Little accelerated quickly to 120km/h, “braked heavily and slowed” to about 73km/h to move around an L-plater and then accelerated again once back in the right lane.
The police car was recorded at 133.5km/h about one second before impacting Ms Vieira’s car.
Little hit his brakes as Ms Vieira crossed the three westbound lanes, but his car was still travelling at 87km/h when it collided with the driver door of the Mercedes.
The trial is expected to hear from the L-plater, his mother who was supervising at the time and other people driving nearby at the time of the incident.
It’s expected to run for seven days.