Coulsdon Road death crash driver is just as much a victim as grieving family, mother says

Death crash driver is just as much a victim as grieving family, mother says

Death crash driver is just as much a victim as grieving family, mother says

First published in News Croydon Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter

The heartbroken mother of a fatal crash victim says the driver is just as much a victim as she is.

Robert Prescott died after being hit by Julie Verlander’s car in Coulsdon Road near the junction with Cearn Way at about 8.15pm on October 8 last year.

The 38-year-old had just stepped off a bus when he hit the car’s windshield and was thrown off onto the ground.

He was taken to St George’s Hospital in Tooting but died of severe head injuries a short time later.

Giving evidence at the inquest into his death, Ms Verlander said she had seen Mr Prescott and his friend at the bus stop but did not see him crossing the road.

She said: "I was aware of two people on the other side of the road with one wearing black and yellow [Mr Prescott’s friend] and another person.

"The next thing I knew was there was a bang and the windscreen shattered and I stopped and I saw the man wearing the black and yellow already on the phone to the police.

"I said to the man on the phone, ‘have I hit someone?’ and he pointed at the man on the floor.

"I still do not know how it happened."

After asking the driver how it has affected her, Mr Prescott’s mother Rita Short told her: "I consider you a victim just as I have been a victim and just as my son was."

The court heard Mr Prescott was partially sighted and was wearing dark clothing on the night he died.

But his mother said the fact of the matter is there needs to be some kind of pedestrian crossing there.

She said: "I think that it is all very easy to say my son wasn’t wearing the right coloured clothing and my son had partial vision.

"But the fact is there’s no zebra crossing there and the lighting has also been mentioned and I have been terrified of crossing at that particular point.

"Nothing will bring back my son and who knows maybe it was destiny but I think that if you ignore the other factors then I think there’s another accident waiting to happen.

"The lady driving the car genuinely did not see my son.

"There’s no crossing there and lots of people must cross at that road because they get off the bus there."

And recording a verdict of accidental death the coroner Dr Roy Palmer said: "I’m ever so sorry you lost your son in sad circumstances.

"We have the evidence that he was visually impaired but he’s got himself through life and he’s got round so why then?

"We leave it with lots of why questions to which you never get a positive answer.

"The only short form verdict I can reach is an accidental death due to a road traffic accident."

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