Driver acquitted over girl's pedestrian crossing death
A man charged with dangerous driving after fatally striking a young girl walking with her mother on a pedestrian crossing in Sydney's west has been acquitted by a jury.
Abel Elias Lopez, 63, faced a criminal trial in the Parramatta District Court last week after hitting Taylor Maddock and her five-year-old daughter Alannah Sobolewski in Plumpton at 7.15pm on March 17, 2021.
Charged with two counts of dangerous driving occasioning death and grievous bodily harm, he was found not guilty by a panel of jurors on Friday.
Mr Lopez was driving his Toyota Tarago van home from Bible study when he collided with the mother and child at the crossing on Rooty Hill Road North.
Around dusk on an overcast day, Ms Maddock and Alannah had picked up some pizza from a nearby Domino's and were walking home.
Alannah was rushed to Westmead Hospital, but died later that evening.
Her mother received significant injuries to her leg, hip and back, requiring surgery and multiple hospital visits. The 27-year-old appeared in court requiring a walking frame to get around.
Mr Lopez argued that he had slowed down before the pedestrian crossing but had not seen the mother or child because of the dim light, the clothes they were wearing and the glare of incoming traffic.
At the trial in front of Judge Andrew Colefax, jurors also heard that floodlights above the pedestrian crossing were not operational.
Crown prosecutors unsuccessfully argued Mr Lopez had failed to keep a proper lookout and had approached the pedestrian crossing at the speed limit of 60 km/h.