Woolverstone man was killed of multiple injuries following head on A137 collision, Suffolk coroner rules

By Derek Davis

19th Aug 2021 | Local News

A coroner has said measures should be taken to improve the A137 at Tattingstone after a 21-year-old was killed after colliding head on with another car.

Thomas Pickering, who Suffolk Coroners' Court today heard was from Woolverstone, was taking his girlfriend Alicia Hayles to Manningtree to catch a train in August last year, when the collision occurred.

Suffolk's assistant coroner Tim Deeming was told at the hearing how Mr Pickering was driving his Kia Creed at 71mph in a 60mph limit when he attempted to overtake just before a blind summit at a Tattingstone stretch of the road.

Mr Pickering smashed into a Saab being driven Victoria O'Brien's coming in the opposite direction, before also hitting Victoria Cauvain's Volkswagen Golf.

Suffolk's assistant coroner Tim Deeming said Mr Pickering died as a result of a road traffic collision.

And he told Mr Pickering's parents, Donna and Danny, who were sitting in court, that he would look at what further steps and prevention measures could be taken in the area to help prevent a crash like this again.

Miss Hayles, Ms Cauvain and Ms O'Brien were taken to hospital to be treated for their injuries, but were later discharged.

Ms Cauvain told the inquest that she wasn't comfortable with the way Mr Pickering was driving as he came up behind her and then began to pass her as she was driving about 50mph.

The cars collided and her car rolled over leaving her trapped until help arrived.

Emergency services were on the scene 24 minutes later, the inquest was told, but it was around another hour before firefighters managed to rescue Mr Pickering from his badly damaged car.

The court was told he was in the vehicle with no clinical intervention for around one hour, and paramedic Laura Summers said his car was upside down with him trapped inside.

The Ipswich-based court was told he was not breathing, and paramedics pronounced him dead at 11.45pm.

Richard Godden, a forensic collision investigator, said Mr Pickering's crash was the result of an overtaking manoeuvre with an insufficient view of the road ahead in contravention of the double white line.

He said there were no vehicle defects or adverse road conditions which could have contributed to the crash, and added they worked out the speed of 71mph by looking at his speedometer which had frozen.

Pathologist Dr Jason Wong said Mr Pickering died as a result of multiple injuries caused by a road traffic collision. Toxicology tests by Dr Susan Patterson found no traceable levels of alcohol or drugs in his system.

Mr Deeming ruled Mr Pickering died as a result of a road traffic collision.

He told Mr Pickering's parents, Donna and Danny, look at what further steps and prevention measures could be taken in the area to help prevent a crash like this again and that included the introduction of a hidden dip sign.

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