A truck driver accused of reversing over his colleague has said the tragedy will stay with him forever.
Christopher Penfold – who has been driving lorries since he was 17 – denies he was driving carelessly as they carried out flood repairs on a north-east road.
It is alleged he was not looking properly as he reversed the truck along the B9005 Fyvie to Methlick road on January 26, 2016.
Council foreman William Black was crushed by the lorry, and died at the scene.
Yesterday, Penfold insisted he had carried out the manoeuvre countless times and always kept a look-out.
And the 58-year-old told Banff Sheriff Court he was “surprised” someone as experienced as Mr Black – who he had worked with for years – would have been behind the lorry as it reversed.
Asked by defence counsel Gavin Anderson how he felt after the incident, he replied: “Devastated. The events that happened that day will stay with me forever.”
The court heard Penfold was an HGV driving instructor for the Royal Army Transport Corps for several years, and did various other driving jobs before being taken on by contractors firm Denis McDonald – where he still works.
On the day of the tragedy, he was part of a six-man crew doing repair works in the aftermath of Storm Frank.
The court heard he was reversing the lorry up the hill under the orders of Mr Black.
Penfold, of Belfatton, Lonmay, near Fraserburgh, said: “I had worked with Mr Black for five years. He was an experienced road worker, an ex-lorry driver.
“Of all of the people there he knew more than anyone else not to go behind a reversing vehicle.
“I can’t understand why he went behind the lorry.
“I had carried out that manoeuvre prior to the day and I’ve carried it out since that day, I carried it out to the correct standards.
“I never expected anyone in that experienced squad to be behind my vehicle and to this day, whether I’m expected to do it myself or with a guide, I never expect a workman to be behind a vehicle.
“There was no way I was driving without keeping a proper look-out.”
Despite working contractually on Aberdeenshire Council jobs since 2014, Penfold said he had never received health and safety training from the authority prior to the incident.
Mr Anderson presented him with a copy of the council’s roads health and safety handbook, and asked if he had ever been issued one, to which he said: “No.”
Earlier in the day, PC Lindsay Edwards told the court the lorry had been travelling at about 6mph when the collision happened.
He said: “It’s faster than the average walking speed and when you travel faster you need to observe more as you’re covering more distance.”
The court has previously heard from Penfold’s colleagues, who said the heard the truck’s reversing bleeps but admitted they can sometimes become “immune” to them while on site.
The case, before Sheriff Robert McDonald, will continue on Tuesday.