Driver blames blinding lights for deaths

Bus driver Luis Rojas says he was blinded by lights before crashing into a scooter, killing two men.
Bus driver Luis Rojas says he was blinded by lights before crashing into a scooter, killing two men.

A Sydney bus driver who was using his phone in the minutes before a fatal crash says he was blinded by headlights moments before crashing into two men on a scooter.

Chen Guan Wei, 32, ended up crumpled under the tyre of a car while his pillion passenger, Su-Po Hsu, 44, was found lying about 50 metres away after they were hit by a bus in Kingsgrove on January 28, 2019.

State Transit driver Luis Rojas has pleaded not guilty to two counts of dangerous driving occasioning death in the Sydney District Court.

The jury has seen footage of the 50-year-old Roselands man plugging a cord from his phone into the vehicle's sound system, fiddling with his glasses, touching his phone and reading a piece of paper in the three-and-a-half minutes between leaving the bus depot and colliding with the stationary scooter.

"You were totally distracted, weren't you?" crown prosecutor Roger Kimbell asked Rojas on Tuesday.

"I was not," Rojas replied. "As I say, we have to look for hazards."

The jury heard on Monday Rojas describe that professional drivers were taught to scan the road for hazards to ensure they could react to "kids, elderly people, mums" and the like who jump out.

"I was aware (of) what is happening at the front," he told the trial on Tuesday.

When Mr Kimbell suggested Rojas was not able to scan for hazards while looking at his phone, the driver said there were no hazards at that time and pointed to his experience allowing him to multitask.

Rojas said the headlights of oncoming cars blinded him as he was on the crest of a hill, so he didn't see the scooter "until the last second".

"The light blinded me," he said.

Mr Kimbell retorted: "You're just making that up, aren't you?"

"I'm not making it up," Rojas replied.

A police officer on the scene on the night of the crash told the jury on Monday Rojas told him he'd not seen Mr Wei and Mr Hsu "until it was too late".

The constable testified the bus driver appeared to be distraught and in shock.

The trial continues.

Australian Associated Press