‘Nothing the driver could have done’ to avoid killing a pedestrian on a Norfolk road

The stretch of the A1122, between Bexwell and Crimplesham, where the crash happened. Picture: Chris

The stretch of the A1122, between Bexwell and Crimplesham, where the crash happened. Picture: Chris Bishop - Credit: Archant

There was nothing the driver of an articulated lorry could have done to avoid hitting and killing a pedestrian, an inquest heard.

Shortly before 1am on Monday, June 26, Stephen Lamprell, of Market Lane in Crimpelsham, died after he was involved in a collision with a Tesco lorry on the unlit A1122 between Bexwell and Stadsett.

Evidence read out at Norfolk Coroner's Court by senior coroner Jacqueline Lake described how two people saw Mr Lamprell standing in the middle of the middle of the road not long before the incident.

One report read: 'There was a person standing on the white line in the middle of the road, almost perfectly still.

'It frightened me and I was in total shock he was there.'

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The 64-year-old man was registered blind with no sight in his right eye and limited vision in his left and had been visiting the Crown Hotel on Bridge Street in Downham Market on the evening before the incident.

The owner of the Crown Hotel, Clive Hughes, said in a statement to the coroner's court that Mr Lamprell, known locally as 'Blind Steve', had been drinking at the hotel bar the evening before the incident.

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A toxicology report found he had 205mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood which is approximately 2.5 times over the legal driving limit.

The driver of the Tesco lorry described in his witness statement to the inquest that upon identifying Mr Lamprell on the road he braked immediately.

The lorry's on-board computer showed it was travelling at 44mph so, despite braking suddenly, the driver knew he was going to hit the pedestrian.

Mr Lamprell was pronounced dead at the scene with the medical cause of death being severe head injuries as a result of the road traffic collision.

In summary Mrs Lake said: 'There was nothing [the driver] could have done to avoid the collision.

'Mr Lamprell was standing in the middle of the road. It was dark at the time and it is not known why he was in the road but the alcohol [in his system] may have had a bearing on this and his partial sight.'

The coroner conluded Mr Lamprell died as a result of a road traffic collision.

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