A former nurse rushed to the aid of a dying retiree after he was struck by a falling traffic light column and realized it was her husband, a court heard.

Roseangela Varone, 51, was walking home from her local Sainsbury’s when she witnessed the crash and rushed to help, unaware the victim was her 69-year-old husband Luigi.

Mr. Varone was waiting in a traffic island 50 meters from his home when the fatal accident was allegedly caused by 35-year-old Mourad El Maddioudi, who swerved another vehicle in his Smart car.

The Ford Focus driven by Faaris Sangal entered the traffic island at Battersea Park Road, going down the set of lights towards Mr Varone. The retired British gas engineer died of head injuries after the incident on January 11, 2020, the Southwark Crown Court heard.

El Maddioudi denies causing the death by careless driving.

Hamish Common, the prosecutor, told the court that the incident on Saturday, January 11, 2020 at 9:05 p.m. being driven in opposite directions along Battersea Park Road in South West London.”

He said: “At the junction with Falcon Road, Mr El Maddioui turned his Smart car to the right, heading towards Falcon Road, very close to an Audi on the other side of the opposite carriageway and in the path of Mr Sangal , which was advancing directly on the crossing and as such had priority.

“Mr. Sangal was traveling at about 35mph in a 30mph zone. At that moment, the two cars collided. The collision blew Mr. Sangal’s Ford Focus off its path into a pedestrian island.

“The Ford Focus collided with a pedestrian traffic light which in turn struck a pedestrian standing on the sidewalk, Luigi Varone, killing him.

Common said the subject of the trial is the level of driving of El Maddioui.

He said: “The prosecution’s case is essentially that Mr El Maddioui should not have followed the Audi so closely, which reduced his ability to see oncoming traffic.

“I shouldn’t have crossed into the oncoming lane without checking for oncoming traffic. The fact that he did so was a more than minimal cause of death for Mr. Varone.

“Roseangela Varone was Mr. Varone’s wife. They were going to go to a restaurant in Fulham later in the evening.

“He was returning to the local Sainsbury’s flat when he heard a loud crash and saw that two cars had collided, hitting a traffic light which had in turn hit a man.

“She went to help since she used to be a nurse. She then realized that it was her husband.

Varone was pronounced dead at the scene. He had suffered a “devastating injury” to the right side of his head, the court heard.

Testifying, Philip Jeffries said: “I saw a car run the light, which was green. He skidded and swerved to avoid the car. He hit the island, he hit the post and he hit the guy in the head.”

Pathologist Dr. Ashley Fegan-Earl said Varone’s injuries were “entirely consistent” with a traffic light column strike resulting in a “major skull fracture and brain injury.”

He said: “In my opinion, this was an unavoidable head injury and I note that CCTV shows no evidence of movement after this collision.”

El Maddioudi, of Philpot Square, Fulham, denies causing the death by careless driving.

The trial continues.

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