Nurse died in storm car crash

Macclesfield Express - - BARLOW’S BRIEF - STU­ART GREER

ADRIVER died after an “un­avoid­able” smash with another car as he swerved to avoid a tree blown over in a storm, an in­quest heard.

Dan Bar­low, 33, of Prim­rose Av­enue, Mac­cles­field, died in­stantly from head in­juries sus­tained in the smash on Farm Lane, Lower Withing­ton, at 7am on Fe­bru­ary 13 last year at 7am.

An in­quest at Mac­cles­field Town Hall on Fri­day heard the dad of two was on the way to his job as a nurse in Con­gle­ton when his VW Golf veered into the path of a Range Rover driven by company di­rec­tor Anne Styles.

The crash hap­pened after two days of ex­treme weather which saw a num­ber of trees blown down dur­ing 90mph winds.

The in­quest heard that weather con­di­tions on the af­ter­noon of Fe­bru­ary 12, the day be­fore the crash, had seen two mo­torists es­cape se­ri­ous in­jury dur­ing in­ci­dents on Farm Lane. Car owner Steven Ben­nett said a large branch smashed the roof and wind­screen of his Re­nault Clio at 4pm.

Mean­while, Sarah Hawkins, a lec­turer at Mac­cles­field Col­lege, told the hear­ing she had driven into a tree that had fallen into the road at 5.30pm.

The in­quest also heard that by 6.30pm staff from nearby Four Oaks Nurs­eries used chain­saws to re­move three trees blown over dur­ing the storm.

The next morn­ing Mr Bar­low, a spe­cial­ist pain nurse, was on his way to work at Leighton Hos­pi­tal with his col­league Lisa Good­win.

Mrs Good­win, 47, from Mac­cles­field, de­scribed a pos­i­tive mood in the car be­cause both her and Mr Bar­low were soon tak­ing hol­i­days.

She re­called: “I think I re­mem­ber mo­ments be­fore the crash Dan was try­ing to reach his driv­ing glasses. The next mo­ment we looked up and the tree was in front of us. Dan swung around the tree into the op­po­site car­riage­way. I saw th­ese head­lights and Dan tried to change track. The last thing I re­mem­ber is think­ing ‘this is go­ing to hurt’.

Mrs Good­win was trapped in the car and had to be cut free by fire­fight­ers. She sus­tained mul­ti­ple in­juries which have left her with mo­bil­ity prob­lems, as well as dif­fi­cul­ties with her speech and mem­ory.

Mrs Styles, 44, the driver of the Range Rover, de­scribed con­di­tions that morn­ing as dark, wet and windy.

Fight­ing back tears she told the in­quest: “I saw head­lights and there was an im­me­di­ate im­pact. I didn’t have time to brake.”

Pc Pete McDonough, ac­ci­dent in­ves­ti­ga­tor for Cheshire Po­lice, said once the VW Golf had swerved into the path of the Range Rover both driv­ers had one sec­ond to re­act.

He said: “Mr Bar­low was 20m from the tree when he swerved. There was noth­ing ei­ther driver could do. It was a glanc­ing blow: cor­ner hit­ting cor­ner. In his con­clu­sion Dr Ge­off Roberts, as­sis­tant Coro­ner for Cheshire, said Mr Bar­low died in an “un­avoid­able” col­li­sion.

●● Dan Bar­low, 33, died in a crash on Fe­bru­ary 13

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.