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Community stalwart died on danger road near Bicknoller
10:00am Saturday 19th January 2013 in West Somerset
A COMMUNITY stalwart from Lydeard St Lawrence who was killed in a crash near Bicknoller was caught out while trying to cut a corner, an inquest heard.
Philip Sayers, 88, died after his silver Volvo was in collision with a blue Suzuki on the A358 at the Upcott Lane turning on June 29 last year.
At the inquest into his death at Taunton’s Old Municipal Building on Tuesday a coroner returned a verdict of accidental death.
Evidence presented by the collision investigation unit told how Mr Sayers, who was nominated for a Taunton Deane citizenship award for three decades of community work, cut the corner when turning into Upcott Lane.
It was then he was in collision with the Suzuki travelling the opposite direction, before being taken to Musgrove Park Hospital and dying that night.
The inquest also heard evidence from Calum Heath, who was driving the Suzuki carrying friend Sean O’Connor.
The pair were travelling from Middlesex to Minehead for a weekend at Butlin’s and both required hospital treatment.
Mr Heath said: “I’ve got no real recollection of what happened. I think my mind has blocked it out.”
Having helped set up Neighbourhood Watch in the village, Mr Sayers was well known in Lydeard St Lawrence. He was also part of the bell ringing group.
At the time of his death, friends described him as ‘strong, positive and kind-natured’.
West Somerset Coroner Michael Rose said: “This is a sad case. This road is one of the most dangerous in my jurisdiction.
“The evidence makes it clear that Calum [the driver of the Suzuki] was not going too fast. He had no indication that the Volvo was going to turn right until it was too late.
“One should go to the centre line and maybe it would have given the driver of the Suzuki more time.”
Mr Rose refused to take into account Mr Sayers’ age and added: “Drivers of 88 are as capable as any.”