Inquest told Netherton man may not have seen car which killed him

Dudley News: Christopher Clarke Christopher Clarke

A NETHERTON man who was killed as he walked to work may not have seen the car which ploughed into him.

Christopher Clarke, aged 53, was killed as he crossed the Pedmore Road dual carriageway in Brierley Hill at 6.51am on April 26 last year.

An inquest heard he suffered fatal head and spinal injuries as a result of the collision with a Fiat Punto driven by welder Luke Williams, from Ashfield Crescent, Dudley.

Mr Clarke, from Lantern Road, an officer at Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs at The Waterfront, Merry Hill, was walking to work on the fateful morning and made his way across the road to the central reservation, the hearing was told he then continued apparently unaware of the danger.

Pc Steven Jubb, a West Midlands Police forensic collision investigator, said: “Mr Williams saw him enter the road and made the judgement that the pedestrian would be clear of his intended path.

“Mr Clarke, for unknown reasons, stopped and looked towards the Fiat.”

Pc Jubb added evidence from the scene and examination of the Fiat indicated Mr Clarke was 2.25m from the edge of the central reservation at the time of impact and possibly standing still.

He said it was impossible to work out how fast the Fiat was travelling and a nearby speed camera was switched off on the morning of the accident.

Pc Jubb added the Fiat was well maintained and there was evidence the driver had braked suddenly, although he said by the time Mr Williams reacted a collision was unavoidable.

Witness Anthony Bate, who was cycling along Pedmore Road, described the moment of impact.

He said: “The vehicle had come from behind me, I could hear it getting extremely close, he stepped out about 20 or 25 yards in front of me.

“The car came into sight, it was if there was a look of horror, I heard the brakes and then the collision happened.”

As he delivered his conclusion at Smethwick Coroners Court, senior Black Country coroner Robin Balmain, said: “It is likely Mr Clarke did not look and the vehicle driver, who had seen him, did not anticipate the danger.”

Mr Balmain recorded the conclusion that Mr Clarke died as a result of a road traffic collision.

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