HGV with punc­ture had stopped in ‘live’ lane

The Sentinel - - NEWS - Kathie Mcinnes kather­ine.mcinnes@reach­

THE griev­ing fam­ily of a van driver who crashed into a sta­tion­ary HGV on the A500 are call­ing for all truck­ers to ring 999 if they break down in a ‘live’ lane.

Their plea came af­ter Ro­man Par­sons died when he ploughed into the back of the ar­tic­u­lated lorry.

The im­pact ef­fec­tively split his seven-and-a-half-ton ve­hi­cle in half, leav­ing him with mul­ti­ple in­juries.

It emerged that the other driver had suf­fered a tyre blowout and had pulled up near the turn-off for Wol­stan­ton Re­tail Park while he waited for some­one to come out and re­pair it.

As there was no hard shoul­der, he was stuck in the outer lane for half-an-hour – with his haz­ard lights flash­ing – be­fore the ac­ci­dent hap­pened.

An in­quest yes­ter­day heard how it was only by chance that a pass­ing mo­torist called the po­lice. But by then it was too late as of­fi­cers were still en route to the break­down scene when Ro­man died.

In a state­ment is­sued on be­half of the fam­ily af­ter the hear­ing, his sis­ter Rebecca said: “What hurts the most is that my brother’s death could have been pre­vented.”

Mr Par­sons, aged 30, from Dil­horne, worked as a courier for Fen­ton-based Soli­dor Ltd and had just set off to make a de­liv­ery to the Leeds area.

It was shortly af­ter 5am on Novem­ber 24 last year when he turned onto the A500. The Iveco box van he was driv­ing was thought to be go­ing at 56mph – its limit – when the Mercedes lorry, car­ry­ing fresh pro­duce, ap­peared ahead of him.

PC Sarah Mul­vey, foren­sic col­li­sion in­ves­ti­ga­tor, said: “The Mercedes would have been in view for 700 me­tres – ap­prox­i­mately 28 sec­onds.”

It’s not known why Mr Par­sons failed to take eva­sive ac­tion in time. The in­quest was told it was pos­si­ble he’d been mo­men­tar­ily dis­tracted.

Checks on his mo­bile phone showed there were no calls or texts in the min­utes be­fore the crash. But he had posted an en­try on Face­book be­fore 5am and the app was still open.

HGV driver Car­ney Daniel said in a state­ment: “I felt a heavy im­pact to the rear of the truck and was thrown for­ward.”

The in­quest heard Mr Daniel got out and saw the van was em­bed­ded in his ve­hi­cle.

“I was in a state of shock, but had no phys­i­cal in­juries,” he re­called. “I do still have flash­backs of the in­ci­dent. I’m al­ways say­ing to my­self what could I have done dif­fer­ently. But I don’t think I could have done any­thing else.”

He said he hadn’t tried to drive the HGV any fur­ther af­ter the blowout as he was wor­ried about leav­ing de­bris on the car­riage­way.

He had alerted his boss to the break­down, but only called 999 af­ter the ac­tual crash.

Sev­eral other mo­torists had come across the sta­tion­ary lorry min­utes ear­lier. One of them told po­lice the haz­ard lights had been clearly vis­i­ble from a dis­tance.

But an­other driver, Rosie Turner, only saw them close-up. She said: “They were not as bright as ex­pected. I quickly pulled out into lane two.” When she later heard about the fa­tal ac­ci­dent, she ‘went cold’.

North Stafford­shire as­sis­tant coro­ner Sarah Mur­phy con­cluded Mr Par­sons died as a re­sult of a road traf­fic col­li­sion. She said: “Un­for­tu­nately, we’ll never know why Mr Par­sons ran into the rear of the sta­tion­ary ve­hi­cle.”

Pay­ing trib­ute to him af­ter­wards, his fam­ily de­scribed him as ‘car­ing, lov­ing and tal­ented’.

They now want other driv­ers to call 999 if they break down and can’t pull off a car­riage­way.

Their state­ment added: “Our hope from this is that every lorry or truck driver fol­lows this pro­ce­dure to pre­vent tragic heartache like we have ex­pe­ri­enced. No fam­ily should suf­fer like this.”

FAM­ILY’S PLEA: Ro­man Par­sons died when his ve­hi­cle crashed into the rear of a sta­tion­ary lorry on the A500 at Wol­stan­ton.

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