WARRIGAL Close at Brandy Hill is an unremarkable stretch of country road; a slightly narrow, unmarked cul-de-sac that snakes its way through a few dozen properties and joins with Brandy Hill Drive.
But every year in February, and every clear day of that month about 7.30am, the sun hits Warrigal Close at such an angle that those heading out, bound for work or school, are "blinded" by the sun as they negotiate a left-hand bend, Newcastle District Court has heard.
Motorists drop their speed and their sun-visors, open their windows and squint out at the road in front of them as they "inch along at a snail's pace".
Ene Eneliko, 43, has pleaded not guilty to dangerous driving occasioning death after he hit and killed a 17-year-old girl as she walked along Warrigal Close in February last year.
He gave evidence during his judge-alone trial on Wednesday, telling Judge Robert Sutherland, SC, the day of the crash was his first time taking his kids to school at that hour and he was unfamiliar with the problems posed by the sun.
"As I came around the bend and then all of a sudden I just got blinded by the sun," Mr Eneliko said.
When asked by his barrister Peter Harper what he "felt" at the time he was blinded, Mr Eneliko replied: "The impact".
Mr Eneliko said the sun was "intense" along a stretch of straight road before the left-hand bend, but he could still see. But about 115 metres after he passed another car coming the other way, he reached the bend, the sun "blinded" him and he struck the girl, who was walking along the side of the road.
"It happened so quick," Mr Eneliko said. I did not have any time to react."
When asked why he was giving evidence, Mr Eneliko said: "I'm in the witness box because I just want to tell the truth. I just want to say what happened because, it happened so quick ... we were all shocked about what happened. I'm so sorry."
Mr Harper and Crown prosecutor Brendan Queenan will deliver their closing arguments on Thursday and then Judge Sutherland is expected to give judgement at a later date.