Mingwei Tan trial: Bus driver believed he had run over a fox as he dragged Cambridge University student through Hampstead

A bus driver told police he believed he had run over a bottle and later a fox as he dragged a Cambridge University student 825metres through Hampstead under his vehicle, a court heard today (Tuesday, June 12).

Shariar Firouzian, 52, stopped in Pond Street in the early hours of September 30, 2010, to pick up an elderly lady from outside the Royal Free Hospital just moments after hitting Mingwei Tan, jurors were told at Blackfriars Crown Court.

Police found her shoe at the spot and her body eventually came loose from the N5 night bus near Belsize Tube station.

Prosecutor Hamish Reid accused Iranian-born Firouzian of careless driving and claimed his actions fell below the standard expected of him.

Firouzian, from Watford, did not realise he had hit third-year medical student Ms Tan, 20, until he turned up for work the following evening, the court heard.

Mr Reid said: “He totally fails to see her.

“She is caught by his bus and dragged underneath and towards the offside.

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“Mr Firouzian stops in Pond Street to pick up a passenger and then drives up Pond Street to go down Haverstock Hill, all this while Ms Tan is underneath the bus.

“Her body only comes free from the underside of the bus just south of the junction with Belsize Road - about 825metres after the spot of the original collision.”

Ms Tan, from Singapore, had just got back from holiday in Cyprus and was on her way to West Hampstead when she was hit.

Firouzian pleaded not guilty to one count of causing death by careless driving.

The trial continues.