'Didn't think I hit anything': Hit-and-run accused in court
A COURT has heard how a Murwillumbah man accused of an alleged hit and run didn't know he struck anyone with his vehicle.
Danny John Maloney, 29, is before the Lismore District Court charged with failing to stop and assist after his vehicle caused grievous bodily harm.
He has pleaded not guilty to the charge.
Police claim the Mr Maloney was the driver responsible for striking Carmelina Smith, 59, on Minjungbal Drive, Tweed Heads before fleeing the scene about 8pm on July 8, 2018.
It is alleged Mr Maloney mounted a kerb under the overpass near Sexton Hill Drive after failing to navigate a right hand turn in the road at speed.
He then allegedly failed to stop and assist and drove off.
Mrs Smith suffered head and leg injuries as a result of the incident.
The initial recorded police interview Mr Maloney participated in was played to the court on Wednesday.
He told police he recalled a vehicle had cut him off while he drove through the underpass forcing him to mount the footpath to avoid collision.
"I had nowhere to go but basically up onto the curve," Mr Maloney said during the interview.
"I knew if there would have been any damage at all, it would have been a flat tyre and I would have noticed.
"I considered myself lucky to avoid (collision)."
Mr Maloney said the next day he was listening to the radio on his way to work and heard a news bulletin about police calling for information about the alleged hit and run on Minjungbal Drive.
He told police he knew he was at the scene during the alleged time frame mentioned on the news.
He proceeded to check his car after hearing the news bulletin for any damages, and discovered his left mirror was damaged.
He told police he then searched online to find out more information about the alleged hit and run.
"I was physically sick about hearing it," Mr Maloney said.
"Just of the fact that if it had been me it's sickening to think it had happened and not be aware of it.
"I didn't hear or feel myself hit anything; I didn't think I'd hit anything."
Mr Maloney then contacted his lawyer who instructed him to provide a statement to police, which he did at Murwillumbah Police Station.
Mr Maloney is also charged with dangerous driving and negligent driving occasioning grievous bodily harm.
Throughout the trial, the court has heard he intends to admit to those charges but challenges the failing to stop and assist charge on the basis that he didn't know he struck Mrs Smith at the time and had no reason to believe he needed to come to her aid.
The trial will continue in Lismore District Court on Thursday.