Call for action on junction after tragic death

Call for action on junction after tragic death

TRAGEDY: Scene on the A356 where Daniel Jones died

TRAGEDY: Daniel Jones

First published in News
Last updated
Dorset Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter

MARKINGS on a road near Dorchester should be investigated following the death of a talented footballer, an inquest heard.

Daniel Jones, aged 23, was killed in a crash on the A356 at Maiden Newton last May.

Daniel, known as “Joner” worked for his dad at Blandford Heights MOT and Service Centre.

He played football for AFC Blandford and had just been named player of the year before his tragic death.

An inquest held at County Hall, Dorchester heard how Daniel, from Blandford, and two friends had gone for a motorbike ride to West Bay on the morning of May 26.

On their way back, they decided to go via Dorchester because their usual route was closed, his friends said. When Daniel got near to the junction with Toller Lane his motorcycle was in collision with a Skoda driven by a 75-year-old Somerset woman.

The woman told the inquest that she had been turning right in to Toller Lane when her car was struck at the back by the motorcycle.

She said she had been indicating and was ‘certain’ she did not see a motorcycle in her rear-view mirror as she made the turn.

Her husband, who was in the front passenger seat, said he had seen his wife make the checks – something she did ‘habitually.’ Daniel’s friends described him as a ‘safe’ rider who would ‘not put himself or others in danger’ and kept his bike in ‘immaculate’ condition.

They said he was in the front of the trio on the A356 and was overtaking other vehicles safely.

One described seeing Daniel try to get out of the way when he saw the Skoda turning and hit the brakes ‘hard’ when he ‘realised he wasn’t going to stop in time.’ He said he didn’t notice the arrows on the road before the junction.

Assistant coroner for Dorset Stephen Nicholls said he would look in to making submissions to the relevant authorities about the markings on the road.

This was on the request of Daniel’s family after the friend said he wasn’t aware of the markings in the road on the approach to the junction.

When asked if the road markings need to be addressed, Dorset Police accident investigator PC John Hayward said there had not been any accidents on the road in recent years.

However, a sign at the junction was changed shortly after the accident following a meeting of officials, he said.

PC Hayward said the motorcycle’s speed on impact was 35mph to 38mph but it must have been travelling significantly faster than this before impact as it had managed to move the Skoda – an object with a larger mass.

He said the headlight on Daniel’s bike was on and he could not give a reason as to why the driver didn’t see him.

It was ruled that Daniel died as a result of a road traffic collision.

Speaking after the inquest, Daniel’s mum Gillian Norris said: “The signs are a massive issue.

“The inquest clearly indicates it’s not as clear as it should be.

“My son wasn’t a chancer and I know he wouldn’t have just taken a chance. He believed the road ahead was safe.”

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