Crawley pensioner died at ‘challenging’ junction

Road closed
Road closed

A pensioner who pulled out from a junction into the path of a military-style Landrover died in hospital two days later.

Kenneth Edmondson, 83, of Park Way, Crawley, was travelling in the Mazda Premacy with his wife Barbara on April 6, when it collided with the Landrover in Plawhatch Lane, Sharpthorne.

An inquest into his death, held at Parkside in Horsham on October 6, was attended by his wife and children.

Julian Taylor, forensic collision investigator at Sussex Police, said although there had been six serious crashes, resulting in nine casualties at the junction with Grinstead Lane in the last ten years he did not believe it to be dangerous.

He said: “The Landrover was in view when Mr Edmondson began to emerge. There was no evidence of excessive speed by the Landrover.”

The inquest heard the junction was ‘challenging’ to navigate but the investigator added little could be done to improve its safety.

Mr Edmondson was taken to East Surrey Hospital in Redhill with serious injuries but died in hospital two days later.

Bridget Dolan, assistant coroner for West Sussex, said: “For reasons that we don’t know, once Mr Edmondson had commenced the manoeuvre it would have been difficult for either part to avoid the collision.”

Result of a post mortem found Mr Edmondson died from pneumonia, caused by chest trauma. He had also been suffering from chronic pulmonary disease.

The 22-year old Crawley Down man driving the Landrover was unhurt, and his passenger, a 30-year woman from East Grinstead, was treated at the scene for minor injuries.

Returning a conclusion of accidental death, Mrs Dolan said: “I know he was a man who wasn’t well but it is also a horrible shock to lose him in this fashion.

“Sadly it seems to me that this is a difficult junction to manoeuvre – quite clearly not helped by the fact that the vehicle travelling along it was a vehicle of a colour that isn’t easy to see.”

She said there was no evidence to suggest the approaching vehicle was doing anything wrong – adding the collision itself was quite low impact.

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