Elderly woman was crushed by lorry on Corwen High Street

Reporter:

Josh Morris

THE inquest into the death of an elderly woman crushed by a timber lorry heard that the driver did not see her crossing the road.

Aurona Roberts, 84, died on November 20, 2015 when she was struck by a lorry moving off after a set of temporary lights on the High Street in Corwen turned green.

According to the post mortem report, she died of crush injuries to the upper chest and neck caused by the road traffic collision.

One witness, a Miss Jackson, was attending her nain's funeral in Corwen that day and saw the incident unfold.

She told the coroner that she saw a lorry with a trailer loaded with logs at a stand still and then moving very slowly.

“Then I saw that a lady had crossed quite close to the front of the lorry.

“She was just stepping into the road, she was quite close to the front of the lorry as she was walking.”

According to Miss Jackson, Aurona Roberts was within arm’s length of the front of the truck.

She continued: “She was walking across the road, getting near to the middle and the lorry started to move really slowly. I looked up and could see that he didn't realise anyone was in front.

“I was trying to shout to get attention from him, but she fell over and it moved a bit ahead.

“The lorry hit her and that unsteadied her and then she fell down.”

The lorry's driver Ronald Nigel Williams, known as Nigel, told police: “The cars in front of me moved forward. I moved five yards and heard a horn sound, so instinctively (I) braked.

“I checked the nearside mirror and saw a handbag in the middle of the road.

“My first thought was that the car beeping had hit somebody. I opened my door to get out. 

“I turned the engine off. I froze. I thought I couldn't do any good and presumed the worse, I remained in the cab until I was asked to get out and go into the ambulance."

According to North East Wales and Central Coroner John Gittins, Mrs Roberts was killed instantly.

While the lorry was equipped with a class six mirror, which is supposed to remove the blind spot between the front of the vehicle's cab and what can be seen in the vehicle's windscreen, visibility on the edges of the mirror was shown to be poor where Mrs Roberts would have been.

And while several witnesses stated they believed the lorry to have been stationary for around two minutes, including the vehicle's driver, police said tachograph data showed the vehicle to only have stopped for nine seconds before it began be moving at around one metre per second. That meant if the driver had looked in his rear view mirror as he rolled forward, he may not have seen Mrs Roberts.

The vehicle's tachograph states the vehicle's roll slowed over the course of three seconds.

Reading from his report on the incident at the inquest, PC Richard Davies said: “It is possible that while he was checking his rear view mirrors he entered the part directly in front of Mrs Roberts.

“Even if he had seen her in the last minute, he wouldn't have been able to stop given his reaction time.

“In my opinion, the incident occured because Mrs Roberts didn't take sufficient care when crossing the road.”

Mrs Roberts death was recorded as death by trauma to the head, neck and upper torso due to a road traffic collision.

Coroner John Gittins told the family, who were present thoughout the inquest: “These are not survivable injuries. I am sure she wouldn't have known anything more of it than that. She wouldn't have suffered.

“It's a very tragic set of circumstances and it's clear you've lost a lady who was very special to all of you.”

See full story in the Free Press

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