Woman leaves lockdown for first time since December, killed untangling mask
A U.K. woman was hit by a truck on her first trip out of the house after spending months in quarantine.
Sarah Lewis, 62, was reportedly waiting for a taxi at the time of her death. It was her first trip outside her home in 8 months. Lewis was “in a world of her own” while trying to untangle the facemask in her purse, said Police Constable Leanne Steedman.
Video footage of the tragedy shows Lewis stepping out into the road in front of a truck as it was backing up. The driver of the truck, attempting to avoid parked cars, switched to reverse, striking Lewis. After she was hit, bystanders called the emergency line and tried to aid and comfort her.
Emergency responders tended to the victim after pulling her from beneath the truck, but she did not survive, dying at the scene of the accident.
According to eyewitness reports, the truck emitted the usual loud beeping indicating reverse gear, as well as flashing lights. The coroner’s statement says that Lewis was “completely unaware of the lorry’s presence.”
Karl Stanton, the driver of the truck, says he did not see Lewis before backing up, even after checking his rearview mirror. The forensic investigation found that Lewis walked into the truck’s blind spot, as Stanton was completing a normal and necessary road maneuver given the traffic situation and the presence of parked cars.
At one point Lewis became aware of the truck, but not until it was too late. An autopsy revealed high levels of the anti-depressant prescription drug Fluoxetine in her system. Dr. Mark Lord, who performed the autopsy, said the ingestion of large amounts of Fluoxetine was likely intentional but did not offer an opinion on Lewis’s motive.
Assistant coroner Debbie Rookes said there is no evidence suggesting that she was trying to commit an act of self-harm. The injuries from the traffic collision were ruled the official cause of death.
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Local officials have taken action to prevent similar tragedies in the future. They have painted yellow lines on the road to prevent crowded and unsafe street parking, and are reportedly considering making backup cameras mandatory for large trucks.