Croydon tram disaster driver asked passengers ‘how did that happen’, court told

- Advertisement -

A driver whose Croydon tram overturned, killing seven people and injuring many more, asked a survivor “how the f*** did that happen?”, a court has heard.

Alfred Dorris, 49, was allegedly speeding when the tram derailed on a sharp corner near the Sandilands stop on November 9 2016.

Survivor Khublal Lochlan had been aboard the tram on his usual morning commute to Putney for a shift as a bus driver.

He had got on at the King Henry’s Drive stop, got a seat directly behind the driver and was looking out of the window during the journey.

In a statement read to the court, he said he believed the tram was going at a maximum speed when it entered a tunnel between Lloyd Park and Sandilands and he did not recall any braking.

He felt “severe turbulence” as the tram came off the track and the carriage descended into “pitch black”, the court heard.

He recalled the tram driver saying: “How the f*** did that happen? Is anybody seriously injured?”

Mr Lochlan described exiting the wreckage by climbing out of a window and on to the track.

Mr Justice Fraser told jurors Mr Lochlan was not called to give his evidence in person after other witnesses experienced a reaction to “reliving the events” in court.

Another survivor, Fausta Bernardo, told jurors she had waited quite a long time at New Addington for the 2551 tram service.

The tram was already going “fast” before it reached Lloyd Park, the stop before Sandilands, the support worker said.

When it derailed, the electricity went down and she found herself under a chair without her glasses, Ms Bernardo said.

She screamed at the driver to “wake up” as she saw his eyes were closed, the court heard.

She told jurors: “I just asked him what happened. He said he did not know.”

Tram Operations Limited’s duty manager, Hainsley Forbes, told the court that he became aware that a circuit breaker had been tripped, which he said happens when there is a power surge.

Describing a call from Dorris, Mr Forbes told jurors: “He said he was in a bad way, he needs help, the tram has overturned and a lot of people are injured.”

He confirmed that he had also said in his statement that the defendant said words to the effect of “I think I blacked out”.

Dorris, from Beckenham, south London, denies failing to take “reasonable care” of the health and safety of himself and his 69 passengers on tram 2551,

His Old Bailey trial continues.

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Latest Stories

- Advertisement -

UK News

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Read the latest free supplements

Read the Town Crier, Le Rocher and a whole host of other subjects like mortgage advice, business, cycling, travel and property.