Hit and run death driver was on phone
A VAN driver had been drinking and using a mobile phone before he knocked down and killed a Longsands College pupil, a court heard. Matt Dean, 15, died in hospital after he was struck by the van just yards from his home in Yelling, near St Neots, in Janua
A VAN driver had been drinking and using a mobile phone before he knocked down and killed a Longsands College pupil, a court heard.
Matt Dean, 15, died in hospital after he was struck by the van just yards from his home in Yelling, near St Neots, in January 2007.
Standing trial at Peterborough Crown Court, van driver Daniel Bagnoli, 24, of Lowry Road, Eaton Ford, denies causing death by dangerous driving.
On Monday, jurors heard how Mr Bagnoli, a heating engineer at Heatforce, St Neots, had been driving to visit his girlfriend in Yelling on the evening of January 5.
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Shortly before 9pm, Matt Dean, who was wearing a black coat and dark jeans, was struck by a white Fiat van on Toseland Road.
Mr Bagnoli did not stop at the scene and did not hand himself in to the police until 11.30pm that evening, the court heard.
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Prosecutor Angela Rafferty said: "Those who use the road regularly will know it is treacherous, winding, in the countryside and is without street lights.
"The prosecution contends Daniel Bagnoli showed youthful cockiness in his driving. He was looking forward to going on holiday and to seeing his girlfriend.
"His driving fell well below the standard expected of a competent driver."
The court heard how Matt had been walking to a friend's house in Toseland when he was knocked down. The stretch of Toseland Road where the incident happened has a 60mph speed limit and no footpath.
In interview, Mr Bagnoli initially denied he had been drinking or using his phone while driving but subsequently changed both stories, Mrs Rafferty said.
During an interview with police in March, Mr Bagnoli told officers: "I wanted to go back but was too scared."
In a statement read out in court, Graham Chalkley, who lives next to the scene of the collision, said he was in his lounge when he heard an 'almighty bang'.
Mr Chalkley said he rushed outside and found Matt lying in the middle of the road, moaning, with one arm tucked under his body.
He said he saw the tail lights of a van disappearing towards Yelling before he called for his wife to phone for an ambulance and bring a blanket.
As he tended to Matt , a woman and her son drew up in a car and offered assistance. Mr Chalkley said he heard the boy say: "That's my mate Matt."
After his death last year, sports-mad Matt was described by his stepfather Ken Doyle as 'a warrior for the underdog,' while Longsands principal Robert Whatmough said he was 'a very able student with a keen sense of fun'.
Hundreds of Matt's school friends joined members of his family at his funeral at Cambridge Crematorium in January 2007.
The trial continues.