A Woonona man has been cleared of driving negligently following the death of an elderly female pedestrian at Corrimal in January.
Jason Richard Ireland, 40, was behind the wheel of his Toyota Hilux on the morning of January 8 when it struck 74-year-old pensioner Barbara Gaertner as she crossed Murray Street.
Mrs Gaertner was killed in the accident.
Police charged Ireland with a single count of negligent driving occasioning death.
He pleaded not guilty, and faced a hearing in Wollongong Local Court yesterday.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Paul Bush argued Ireland's driving behaviour that morning amounted to negligence, and Ireland should have had enough time to brake to avoid hitting Mrs Gaertner.
However, Ireland's lawyer, Jeff David, said there was simply no evidence that his client drove negligently that day, and the prosecution's case was built on estimations and speculation.
The court heard that Mrs Gaertner was returning from her daily trip to her local newsagent when the accident occurred about 7am.
Crash investigator Senior Constable Jimmy Hayward said Mrs Gaertner's daughter and the newsagent had both confirmed that Mrs Gaertner made the 784-metre round trip between her house and the newsagency every day, unless it was raining.
When police interviewed Ireland after the accident, he told them he had seen Mrs Gaertner step off the kerb and begin walking across the road when he was about 100 to 150 metres away.
He claimed she stopped in the middle of the road, and he believed she had paused to allow him to drive past.
But she began walking again when his vehicle was about one to two metres away and travelling about 50km/h.
He said he braked immediately but could not avoid the collision.
While giving evidence, Snr Const Hayward disputed Ireland's version of events, claiming there was no evidence the woman had stopped in the middle of the road.
However, during his final submissions to magistrate Geraldine Beattie, Mr David argued that the court should give his client the benefit of the doubt because of the absence of evidence on whether the woman stopped or not.
"It's up to the prosecution to prove my client was negligent, not for my client to prove he wasn't," he said.
Sgt Bush said Ireland had had a "momentary lapse of attention" which led to the accident, but Mr David again argued that there was no evidence of that before the court.
Ms Beattie said she could not be satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that Ireland had driven negligently, and she found him not guilty.