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Lorry driver ‘not at fault’ for A421 crash which killed Bedford father

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A LORRY driver who hit and killed a Bedford father who had been drinking when he climbed onto the A421 last summer was not at fault, an inquest heard. Daniel Bainsfair, 32, of Hockliffe Road, Bedford, died after he climbed over the central reservation and crossed the dual carriageway in the early hours of the morning on July 28, 2016. He had been walking back to his temporary home – a caravan in Woodend Farm, Marston Moretaine – with friend Benjamin Dollings after a day of drinking at the Marston Social Club, where Mr Dollings estimated he had drank around 10 pints.

The pair had been dropped off by another friend at the Shell garage near the A421 and bought more alcohol before trying to make their way home via the dual carriageway. READ MORE: Tribute to ‘cheeky charmer’ killed in A421 lorry smash[2] Mr Bainsfair’s blood alcohol level was 99mg/dl – 19mg over the legal limit of 80mg/dl – and he was also found to have cocaine in his system.

He had climbed over onto the eastbound carriageway when he was struck by the white articulated lorry driven by John Lock, on behalf of Premier Foods. Mr Lock, a self-employed driver from Rugby, told the court he had made full checks on the vehicle before setting off from the depot to Asda in Kempston and was driving at around 52mph. He said: “I saw a blur pass in front of me and wondered ‘what the heck was that’ and then slammed on the brakes, coming to a dead stop and the next thing I heard was a bang.

“I felt the bang as well.” Mr Lock thought he had ‘hit a deer’. It was only when another driver pulled up and spotted Mr Bainsfair’s body that the seriousness of the situation was realised and a 999 emergency call made.

READ MORE: ‘Complete mystery’ why lorry driver ploughed into queue of traffic on A421 killing grandparents[3] Paramedics attended but declared Mr Bainsfair dead at the scene. PC Jackson from the Collision Investigation Unit said Mr Lock would have been able to see around 30m in front of him, giving him a reaction time of less than a second.

Despite that, he still had time to brake before impact. Mr Jackson said it was ‘unclear’ why the pair chose to cross the dual carriageway. He added: “It is likely the judgment of the pedestrians was seriously impaired and as a result they chose to cross the unlit national limit dual carriageway at an inappropriate location when they could have crossed safely on the illuminated footbridge.”

In a statement read to the court Mr Bainsfair’s sister Amy Knox said: “He was an extremely cautious and careful person so it is extremely hard for us to accept as this is very out character for him.” Assistant Senior Coroner Ian Pears described the death as ‘unfortunate’. READ MORE: Man taken to hospital this morning after tree collision on the A421 near Marston Moretaine[4]

He added: “In the statement from the other pedestrian, he said he didn’t see the lorry and presumably Daniel didn’t either. “That reflects their physical state rather than the lorry not being there to be seen. “There appears to be no criticism of the lorry driver at all.”

Speaking after the inquest, Ms Knox added: “This has all been extremely hard. Daniel and I recently lost our mother in 2008 and since then have just had each other. “He was a devoted father and loving uncle and I have struggled to come to terms with what happened but am relieved to have some closure from today.”


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References

  1. ^ Comments (0) (www.bedfordshire-news.co.uk)
  2. ^ Tribute to ‘cheeky charmer’ killed in A421 lorry smash (www.bedfordshire-news.co.uk)
  3. ^ ‘Complete mystery’ why lorry driver ploughed into queue of traffic on A421 killing grandparents (www.bedfordshire-news.co.uk)
  4. ^ Man taken to hospital this morning after tree collision on the A421 near Marston Moretaine (www.bedfordshire-news.co.uk)
  5. ^ latest Bedfordshire news (www.bedfordshire-news.co.uk)
  6. ^ like us on Facebook (www.facebook.com)
  7. ^ follow us on Twitter (twitter.com)
  8. ^ If you’re looking for new employment opportunities, why not visit our jobs page. (jobs.bedfordshire-news.co.uk)

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