A TAXI driver who allegedly hit and killed a student who was lying in the road thought we was driving over a bin bag, York Crown Court heard.

A jury has seen CCTV footage of the moment the Ford Mondeo driven by Frank Norman, 71, hit Robert Stephenson, 21, on Micklegate, York, on March 26, 2016.

Simon Waley, prosecuting, said the Pickering final year undergraduate suffered multiple injuries and was declared dead at York Hospital shortly afterwards.

Mr Waley alleged that another taxi driver driving in the opposite direction to Norman saw Mr Stephenson lying in the road, and realising that he was a person, not an object, slowed down and stopped before driving off without hitting him.

Giving evidence, Norman alleged that he didn’t see the “object” in front of his taxi until he was “on top of it”.

The court heard he believed it was a bin bag and so drove over it.

“I wouldn’t have done so if I had known what it was,” he claimed.

“If you knew it was a person, you would have swerved and avoided it?” asked his barrister Michael Rawlinson.

“Yes,” replied the 71-year-old taxi driver.

Norman, of Brunel Court, off Leeman Road, York, denies causing Mr Stephenson’s death by careless driving.

The prosecution alleges that he didn’t check that it was safe to drive over what was in the road, or he wasn’t keeping a good enough look out.

“We say that his driving was therefore careless and he therefore caused the death of Mr Stephenson,” said Mr Waley.

Mr Waley said Mr Stephenson had been in York city centre after attending a rugby tournament and by the early hours “he had clearly had a great deal to drink”.

He alleged CCTV footage of Micklegate and the collision near Priory Street showed that Mr Stephenson was unsteady on his feet.

“He can be seen to lie down, tragically for him, lie down on the roadway. It would appear he may have gone to sleep,” said Mr Waley.

Mr Stephenson was on the side of the road taken by traffic travelling from Ouse Bridge to Micklegate Bar, said Mr Waley.

“Robert was stationary and his body remained on the road directly in the path of this Mondeo,” said Mr Waley. “The defendant didn’t slow down.”

The other taxi driver drove along the other side of the road from Micklegate Bar towards Ouse Bridge shortly before Norman, alleged Mr Waley.

Norman told the jury he was taking four teachers from St Sampson’s Square to Acomb, travelling at about 20 mph.

He had been driving taxis for 34 years and with his current firm for eight years. Earlier police collision expert PC David Taylor alleged that a driver could have seen that there was something on the road from 70 metres.

The trial continues.