Pensioner’s A1 death is ruled an accident

The death of a pedestrian who was struck by an ambulance on the A1 has been certified an accident.

North Northumberland coroner Tony Brown recorded the verdict at an inquest in Berwick on Friday. The inquest heard how Samuel Eric Shaw, 71, was hit by an ambulance as he crossed the A1 near Haggerston, just before 7pm, on October 29.

Eric and his partner, Janet Cowan, had been staying at Haggerston Castle Holiday Park, and were returning to their car, parked off the A1, following a day spent visiting Alnwick by bus.

The couple had to cross two lanes of the road, and a stretch of a third lane for vehicles turning off the A1.

They crossed the road at a point where there was no physical crossing, and no lighting, in what was described as ‘pitch black’. At that time of night, it was heard, drivers’ visibility would have been reduced to just over 20metres, with dipped headlights.

As Mr Shaw crossed, an ambulance en route to Wansbeck, though not on a call, struck him, despite the driver making an attempt to swerve out of the way. Mr Shaw suffered multiple injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.

The ambulance was travelling within the speed limit, and its brakes were working. It was also found that the departing bus would have blocked Mr Shaw’s view of the ambulance.

Mr Brown said he would make his report and his concerns about such a crossing known to various bodies.