Case Study

Inquest concludes driver couldn't have avoided 22-year-old pedestrian

Incident date: 
Sat, 10 Nov 2012

An inquest yesterday into the tragic death of Oliver Pritchard, known to friends and family as Ollie, confirmed he was killed during an accident on the A505 dual carriageway at Slip End, between Ashwell and Royston.

An expert agreed it would have been “difficult, if not impossible” for the driver to avoid him in the conditions present shortly before 6am on November 10th 2012.

The inquest heard the scene of the collision was at a dip in the road at a section with no footpath, covered by trees and with no street lights.

“The weather was appalling, it was raining hard and very dark,” Mr Thomas added.

Driver Amrik Mann, who was travelling at 60mph on the 70mph limit road, did not realise he had hit Mr Pritchard until after the 
collision.

“I heard a thumping noise, then my windscreen shattered,” he said.

He pulled over at a nearby lay-by where Andrew Newton, another driver who was on his way to work, stopped to phone the police.

“He looked slightly confused and was a bit shaken,” Newton said of Mr Mann.

He [Mr Newton] had only avoided hitting Mr Pritchard because he was driving in the outside lane, adding: “His head was down, my impression was that he was hitching.

PC Robert Wagstaff, senior crash investigator with Herts Constabulary said: “It’s an area where you wouldn’t naturally expect pedestrians to be on the road. A driver wouldn’t have the opportunity, once a 
hazard is in the headlights, to take any action.

“I’m afraid he put himself in danger.”

Mr Pritchard had been out with friends and went back to a friend’s house in Baldock.

When he suggested he walk home he was told “don’t be silly” and told his friend he would sleep on the sofa. However, he later slipped out of the front door.

Mr Thomas recorded a verdict of accidental death. He said: “What happened was a terrible tragedy.”

Article tags

In collaboration with
  • Patron: Her Majesty The Queen
  • President: Jon Snow
  • Chief Executive: Paul Tuohy
  • Cycling UK is a trading name of Cyclists’ Touring Club (CTC) a company limited by guarantee, registered in England no: 25185. Registered as a charity in England and Wales charity no: 1147607 and in Scotland charity no: sco42541. Registered office: Parklands, Railton Road, Guildford, Surrey GU2 9JX.