Illegally parked cars contributed to death of 90-year-old man hit by BMW, inquest hears

The fatal collision happened at the junction between St John's Hill and Castle Street in Woodbridge

The fatal collision happened at the junction between St John's Hill and Castle Street in Woodbridge Picture: GOOGLE MAPS - Credit: GOOGLE MAPS

Illegal parking along a narrow street in Woodbridge town centre contributed to the death of a 90-year-old man who was hit by a car, an inquest has heard.

Peter Grimer was walking along St John’s Hill in Woodbridge at around midday on July 30, 2018 when he was hit by a grey BMW 1 Series while attempting to cross the road.

The 90-year-old suffered minor injuries to his shoulder and side but was taken to hospital as a precaution where he later developed pneumonia and died on August 8, 2018.

Mr Grimer was described by his son Tim as a “clever man whose talents were endless”. The court heard he enjoyed flying model aircrafts in his spare time and collected butterflies as a child.

An inquest investigating the circumstances surrounding his death took place yesterday at Suffolk Coroners court in Ipswich.


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At the time of the collision, witnesses said that a number of vehicles, including a white Peugeot van were parked along the St John’s Hill, reducing visibility. Mr Grimer was seen crossing the road, only a metre behind the van, leaving both him and the driver of the BMW unsighted.

After being hit by the car, which stopped immediately, the 90-year-old rolled onto the bonnet before falling to the ground.

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PC Dean Webb of Suffolk Constabulary’s forensic collisions investigations unit headed an investigation into the incident which lead to Mr Grimer’s death.

In a report read to the court, PC Webb said there was no physical evidence to suggest that the car was travelling above the speed limit when the collision happened.

He analysed the BMW and looked for evidence on the road before concluding the that the collision was at “low speed”.

After looking at pictures taken at the time of the incident he concluded that it was “likely” that illegally parked vehicles, such as the van would have hindered Mr Grimer’s ability to judge how quickly the car was travelling and prevented the driver from seeing him until the final moment.

Concluding the inquest, senior coroner Nigel Parsley said that he believed the collision was “partially caused by a lack of visibility caused by illegally parked cars”.

He concluded that Mr Grimer died as a consequence of a road traffic collision. His medical cause of death was listed as aspiration pneumonia.

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