A120 death crash triggers safety review

SAFETY improvements are being considered for an accident black spot where a “remarkable” businessman died, it emerged last night.

An inquest into the death of Kee Wah Lee who died when his silver Mercedes A Class was in collision with an Iveco tipper lorry on the A120 at Little Bentley.

At an inquest into the Hadleigh man’s death, Essex Coroner Caroline Beasley Murray said the layout of the road junction appeared to be “complicated” where the accident happened.

It was confirmed last night that the road layout is currently under review by the Highways Agency which is looking to make safety improvements.

Accident investigator Pc Graham Lant <COR> said: “My understanding is that they are reviewing the road layout at this junction.”

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The inquest heard Mr Lee, of Dyer Court, Hadleigh, drove along the Little Bentley Road and was waiting to cross the A120 to then join the Little Bromley road on the opposite side of the four lanes.

However, he then pulled straight out into the path of the seven-and-a-half tonne lorry whose driver could do nothing to avoid the crash.

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Mr Lee’s Mercedes was spun sideways and although the airbags deployed, the impact was so severe he was declared dead at the scene.

Hugh Crisell, a taxi driver, witnessed the accident and saw Mr Lee waiting to join the A120.

“The Iveco lorry was approaching and as it got right up to the junction, it [the Mercedes] just pulled straight out across the carriageway and in front of the lorry which was heading towards Colchester.”

Despite the are safety concerns with the road layout, the inquest was told it would never be known why Mr Lee pulled into the path of the lorry.

Mrs Beasley-Murray recorded a verdict of accidental death.

Mr Lee founded Keejays, based in Hadleigh.

A statement after his death last June said: “Kee Wah demonstrated a thirst for hard work and success during his life and overcame many obstacles along the way. “But all through this he retained a highly amicable and helpful nature which endeared him to all.

“This remarkable man will be missed dearly by family and friends alike.”

Last night the Higways Agency confirmed the accident had triggered a safety review on the stretch of road.

He said: “The Highways Agency is currently conducting a study into the accident on the A120 at Little Bentley.

“This study is looking into the possible safety improrvements which can be made to the junction, such as new road signs and new road markings.”

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