THE Coroner has called for overtaking restrictions to be extended on the main A1 Douglas to Peel road at Greeba in the wake of a fatal road accident outside the Hawthorn Inn.
John Needham made the call as he recorded a verdict of the accidental death at the inquest into the death of software developer Alexander Williamson, 36.
Mr Williamson, of Charles Street Close, Peel, died in the intensive care unit at Noble’s in March last year.
He had been riding home from work in Douglas on his Suzuki motorcycle when he was involved in a collision with a Renault Modus which was attempting to turn right out of the Hawthorn car park. Mr Williamson had been carrying out an overtaking manoeuvre at the time.
Mr Williamson’s girlfriend Charlotte Crabb had by chance been one of the first at the scene of the accident. She was being given a lift home from work by her father David, a paramedic for 18 years, when they saw four or five vehicles stopped in front at Greeba and she recognised the motorbike lying in the road as that owned by her boyfriend. She held Alex’s hand and talked to him until the ambulance arrived.
The driver of the Renault, Peter Bryden, was acquitted of a charge of careless driving following a two-day trial before the Deputy High Bailiff in June this year.
Recording a verdict of accidental death, the Coroner said he accepted the evidence that neither the driver nor the rider had been aware of each other when they began their respective manoeuvres and ‘therefore the collision was clearly a most tragic accident.’
The inquest heard the accident took place in on a derestricted stretch of the road and there were no double white lines prohibiting overtaking.
There are plans by the highways division to extend the 50mph zone westwards past the Hawthorn pub, the inquest was told. But giving evidence, Constable Michael Crompton, of the roads policing unit, said there was no need to extend the double white lines as ‘potential hazards had started to lessen’ on that stretch.
But the Coroner said that nevertheless this was something the highways authority should consider ‘as an issue of priority’.
He said that the number of junctions emerging on to the main road here made this a ‘particularly busy area of road’. ‘There is likely to be an extension to the speed limit of 50mph to the west of the Hawthorn public house but in my opinion the highways authority needs to seriously consider double white lines so as to prevent any future incident of this type.
The inquest heard that the Mr Williamson was travelling at a speed estimated between 52mph and 78mph when the accident took place. Witness Felicity Kniveton whose Ford Mondeo was being overtaken by the motorcyclist when the collision occurred, said the rider had tried to take avoiding action but ‘there was not much he could do’. She saw the bike hit the car with some force and then cartwheel.
Mr Bryden said in his statement that he never saw the motorcycle.
In a tribute read out at the inquest, the deceased’s estranged wife Charlotte Williamson said Alex would always be remembered as a ‘kind, caring and loving family man’ who had a ‘positive, upbeat view of life’.
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