Truck driver who killed wife of NRI 'was on phone'

Truck driver who killed wife of NRI 'was on phone'

Dennis Putz, 51, was over the drink-drive limit when he hit cyclist Catriona Patel as he accelerated away from traffic lights, the court was told.

39-year-old Catriona, a director at the Public Relations firm Citigate Dewe Rogerson, a keen cyclist who lived with her husband Anish Patel in Clapham in south London, was pronounced dead after being airlifted to the Royal London Hospital.

Witnesses to the crash on June 29 last year said her back and head were crushed by the truck's rear wheels.

Catriona had been wearing a high-visibility jacket but Putz did not notice her and only stopped when pedestrians began hammering on his cab door, Inner London Crown Court heard.

Putz has admitted making a call on his mobile phone at the time, but insisted he was using a hands-free kit.

Jonathan Polnay, prosecutor, said the driver was breath-tested 80 minutes later and gave a reading of 39mg in 100ml of breath.

The legal limit is 35mg. Putz admitted causing death by careless driving but denied the more serious charge of causing death by dangerous driving.

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