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Pedestrian died shortly after collision with car in Southampton
A PENSIONER died after stepping into the path of a moving car on a busy Southampton dual carriageway, an inquest heard.
Pedestrian Alan Cunliffe suffered multiple injuries when he was in collision with an Audi A3 on the A33 Bassett Avenue close to the junction with Saxholm Way.
He was pronounced dead at Southampton General Hospital shortly afterwards.
At a Southampton inquest a coroner ruled the pensioner’s “human error” in misjudging the path of the vehicle being driven within the speed limit ultimately led to his death.
The inquest heard how the 70-year-old father-of-two from Bassett Dale, Southampton, stepped off the pavement into the path of driver Simon Longhurst’s vehicle after 4pm on February 16.
PC Mike Batten read the inquest statements from passing motorists witnessing the collision in which the pensioner appeared to be heading towards a bus stop on the opposite carriageway.
Mini bus driver Natasha Cadd saw Mr Cunliffe walking “briskly” and “in a hurry” on the pavement before stepping into the road without looking.
One driver – Paul North – recalled seeing the pensioner “running” to the junction and said: “He ran straight out.
“I couldn’t believe it – he didn’t look left or right.”
Mr Longhurst’s passenger Martin Jenkin recalled hearing a “loud bang” in what he thought was a bird hitting the side of the car in the impact.
Mr Longhurst was travelling from Oxford to his home in Bournemouth with two friends at the time.
He later told police in interviews he was on his way to rejoin the M3 after initially taking a wrong turn from the motorway which led him down The Avenue into the city.
He said he was “unable to avoid” the collision and feared swerving would cause him to crash into approaching traffic.
Police found he was driving within the 40mph speed limit, had rested before his journey and there were no vehicle defects.
Southampton deputy coroner Gordon Denson recorded an accidental death verdict and said: “Clearly this is a tragic incident of human error that he ran out in front of a car with tragic consequences.”
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