‘Awful tragedy’ of man, 87, who died crossing road to feed pet cat whose owner was seriously injured on same road
- Credit: Su Anderson
An 87-year-old man killed on a “dangerous” road in Brantham was walking across to feed a cat whose owner was also seriously injured when crossing the road a month earlier, it can be revealed.
George Richard Mortimer was involved in a collision with a Renault Scenic on the A137 at Brantham Hill at 11.20pm last Saturday. He died at Colchester Hospital the next morning.
Mr Mortimer was walking across to feed the pet cat owned by friend Carol Whitby who herself was “knocked down and seriously injured” on the same road when visiting him opposite her house around a month ago, said Rector of the benefice of East Bergholt and Brantham, the Rev Stephne van der Toorn.
Mrs van der Toorn said: “It is an awful tragedy. In the nine years I have been rector of the parish, these are not the only serious incidents that have occurred.
“When my churchwarden (Ken Stuttaford) wrote to (Suffolk County Council) complaining about the danger, he was told that until there is a fatality, nothing would be done. Well, now someone has died, how many more are they waiting for?”
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She described Brantham Hill as “extremely dangerous”. She said: “There is no safe crossing anywhere from the Brantham Bull to the roundabout at Cattawade.
“The speed limit is 30mph but it is treated all too often as a race track. I constantly hear of near misses as people cross to the bus stop from Birch Drive. I am also the proud owner of a new guide dog called Coco. My trainers came out recently to assess where I can safely cross this road. Their advice was not to even attempt it.”
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Mr Stuttaford, 78, of Brantham Hill, said no action was taken after his warning letter to Suffolk County Council (SCC) in 2010.
He said: “When is the next one going to be? That’s what we’re thinking about. There is no way to cross the road safely to get to the bus station for Ipswich. People take their life in their hands.
“You get halfway across and somebody shoots out in front of you doing about 45mph, 50mph.”
He joined Mrs van der Toorn in calling for traffic lights or a pedestrian crossing to be installed.
James Finch, cabinet member for highways and transport at SCC, said a feasibility study into the road will be “accelerated”.
He said: “On that stretch of road, no road accidents have occurred involving a pedestrian for the last five years. We take local opinion into account (but) let’s see what the best solution is.”
South Suffolk MP James Cartlidge warned against “knee-jerk reactions” before investigations into the collisions and the road in general have concluded.