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Thursday, 02 October 2014

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Motorist could not have done anything to prevent Barrow to Ulverston coast road accident

THE death of a pensioner who was hit by a car on Barrow to Ulverston coast road was an accident, an inquest ruled.

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INVESTIGATION Police carrying out a skid test at the scene of the accident close to The Olde Mill, where Henry Morphet was killed LINDSEY DICKINGS REF: 50050849B004

Henry Morphet died when he was struck by a Vauxhall Corsa outside his home on July 13 last year.

The driver was Rachel Francis Dixon, 22, of Baycliff.

An inquest held at Barrow Town Hall heard Mr Morphet, a father and grandfather, of Bardsea, was 76 years old. He died at the scene.

The court was told that on the day of the incident, Miss Dixon was traveling from home towards work in Ulverston.

When she approached Mr Morphet’s home by the Olde Mill at about 9.45am, she found the road partially blocked by a removal van.

Her view restricted, Miss Dixon reduced her speed and pulled out into the centre of the road.

It was at this moment that Mr Morphet, who was by his car, stepped out on to the road, the coroner was told.

The inquest heard Mr Morphet, his view also restricted by the van, did not see the car.

He went to cross the road before seeing the vehicle and hesitating.

Miss Dixon was unable to stop.

PC Diane Lowman gave evidence on behalf of PC Murray, who attended the scene.

She confirmed the main factor that led to the accident was the obstructed view presented by the removal van.

She stressed, however, that the van was not parked illegally.

South and east Cumbria coroner Mr Ian Smith recorded a verdict of accidental death.

He said: “I really don’t think there is anything more Miss Dixon could have done.

“An accident is something that occurs due to unforeseen circumstances that cannot always be stopped.

“My conclusion is that this was an accident.”

Attending the inquest were Mr Morphet’s three children, Frank Morphet, 54, Katrina Morphet, 50, and Amanda Simpson, 52. His wife, Eileen, was not present.

At the family’s request, Mr Smith said he would write letters to the Britannia – the removal company – and Cumbria County Council, to discuss safety.

The family hopes this will prevent similar accidents occurring in the future.

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