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Full story of the tragic accident in November told at last

by Jackie Porter on 4 April, 2017

I attended the inquest of Jonathan Whitfield today.I wanted to hear the facts of the accident first hand.
It was a terrible accident and despite medical intervention, Jonathan died on his 21st birthday. It is every parent’s nightmare.

Jackie says,’ I feel for all who knew Jonathan. It was a terrible decision for the family to have to make. The inquest revealed the facts of the accident in November last year’.

Three things were clear from the reports from eye witnesses:

1. Although the exact speeds could not be determined, the car was travelling within the speed limit- of 50mph.
Who knows what the outcome might be if the speed limit were slower? The Council is saying that the 40mph limit agreed on the 23rd March cannot be put on the site until consultation is complete.
The ORIGINAL plans included a 40mph limit if speeds came down. The fact that they have means they could impose a 40mph limit sooner rather than later. I will continue to campaign for this whatever other plans are made.

2. Many people commented on the poor lighting conditions- with dark clothing, no street lights, and only dimmed headlights, the ‘conspicuity’ of the young agile pedestrian was poor. He didn’t cross at the crossing but just north of it. More signs won’t help: I think HCC should investigate lighting here now.

3. The junction was busy- witnesses said they used it daily, including Jonathan, who wasn’t a driver, relying on lifts from others. Very little was made of the fact that the junction had been changed only weeks before. In October,small changes were made which allowed north to south traffic on the A33 to pass through freely, at greater speed than before. In the period between May and October, this wasn’t the case.

It is better to know the facts of the accident, and it was distressing to hear how a young agile man could run so quickly into the path of a passing car. I hope that our campaign to improve the junction for pedestrians and motorists will bring about a safer junction in the future.

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