Community stalwart died on danger road near Bicknoller

The turning at Upcott Lane where the two cars collided.

The turning at Upcott Lane where the two cars collided.

First published 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.”

Comments (3)

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12:21pm Sat 19 Jan 13

swjoduk says...

My respects to the chap that lost his life but why do papers and the media + anyone else persist with calling roads 'danger roads' etc

A road is only 'dangerous' if it is driven inappropriately by someone or if someone pulls out injudiciously etc
My respects to the chap that lost his life but why do papers and the media + anyone else persist with calling roads 'danger roads' etc A road is only 'dangerous' if it is driven inappropriately by someone or if someone pulls out injudiciously etc swjoduk
  • Score: 0

11:49pm Sat 19 Jan 13

FreeSpeech? says...

Quite right but i fear other wiser commenters will disagree.
Quite right but i fear other wiser commenters will disagree. FreeSpeech?
  • Score: 0

10:28am Sun 20 Jan 13

Monument says...

I really struggle to understand the coroners comment that "drivers of 88 are a capable as any" as it is simply untrue.

Unfortunately we all loose certain capabilities as we get older. Mr Sayers may have been a capable driver but the average 88 year old will not have the eyesight or reflexes of a 30 year old.

Driving today also requires far greater levels of concentration than even 20 years ago.

Compulsory 5 yearly driving retests for everyone over 70 should be introduced.
I really struggle to understand the coroners comment that "drivers of 88 are a capable as any" as it is simply untrue. Unfortunately we all loose certain capabilities as we get older. Mr Sayers may have been a capable driver but the average 88 year old will not have the eyesight or reflexes of a 30 year old. Driving today also requires far greater levels of concentration than even 20 years ago. Compulsory 5 yearly driving retests for everyone over 70 should be introduced. Monument
  • Score: 0

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