A lorry driver who ploughed into a little girl when his brakes failed, causing him to run a red light says he will never get the image of the tragic four-year-old running in front of his vehicle.

Philip Potter killed four people when he careered straight through a red light. Little Mitzi Steady had been crossing the road at the time.

In a police interview, which was read out during his trial at Bristol Crown Court, he said there was not a day or night that he did not think about the accident, and run the image Mitzi crossing the road in front of him through his mind. He added: “I will never forget that image. It will stay with me to my grave. I am truly and deeply sorry.”

Little Mitzi was killed and her grandmother suffered severe injuries when they were struck by the lorry in Bath last year. Three car passengers, Robert Parker, 59, Philip Allen, 52, and Stephen Vaughan, 34, also died.

Charges

Twenty-year-old Mr Potter, as well as haulage firm boss Matthew Gordon, 30, and mechanic Peter Wood, 55, are also facing charges which relate to the tragic deaths. All of them deny a total of 14 charges against them.

Mr Potter told police that his lorry’s brakes had failed as he was heading down a steep hill, meaning that he lost control and crashed. He had only begun to drive the lorry a fortnight before the incident and had never driven such a large vehicle before.

He said he was following his boss who was driving another lorry when he realised his brakes weren’t working. He swerved to avoid crashing into his boss, hitting his horn. He tried his handbrake and putting the lorry into a lower gear to slow down but to no avail.

At that point, he said he saw a little girl through the window of a bus, who was running. While he said he didn’t see what happened to the girl, he believed he hit a wall and overturned. The case continues.