A driver whose car struck a deaf pensioner crossing a road need not blame herself for the fatal accident, a Bradford coroner said yesterday.
Harry Spencer, 68, died from traumatic brain injuries two days after he accidentally walked out in front of Rachel Wright's car in Huddersfield Road, Liversedge, last November.
Yesterday’s inquest heard how Mr Spencer, who looked after his ‘vulnerable’ older brother and sister at the home they shared in Thomas Street, Liversedge, had not given the driver a chance to stop as he stepped out from bollards in the middle of the road near Mark Street. It had been a dark, damp early morning on November 25 and he had been wearing dark clothing.
Mr Spencer was known to walk up to ten miles a day. He had a habit of stooping and looking down at the ground because he was so shy, said his niece Susan Pepper in a statement.
He was taken to Pinderfields Hospital's A&E department, but after a CT scan was transferred to the specialist neurological unit at Royal Hallamshire Hospital in Sheffield. He had emergency surgery but never recovered.
Despite Mr Spencer having hearing aids in both ears, his niece told the inquest he would have still been able to hear traffic.
In her statement Miss Wright described driving up Huddersfield Road at about 30mph and said: “I think I remember seeing him – he just walked out straight in front of me. He didn't look at me. I couldn't stop.”
Collision investigator PC Mark Lingard said: “She was so close she would have had no opportunity to react and start to brake.”
Assistant Deputy Bradford Coroner Roger Whittaker said: “The evidence I have heard has led me to believe that she (Miss Wright) need not blame herself and I hope that it’s a comfort to her. It is also something Harry Spencer’s family have accepted. It was a simple though tragic road traffic collision – he died accidentally.”
In a tribute, Mrs Pepper she said his older siblings would really miss him, saying: “He was selfless in his actions and gave his life to them.”