Stowmarket: Death crash on old A12 was accident, rules coroner

The death of a chartered surveyor who collided with a 4x4 while out cycling was a “tragic accident”, an inquest has heard.

Philip Scarff, 37, from Harleston Green, near Stowmarket, suffered severe head injuries when he was struck by a Nissan Navara being driven by Adam Clint on August 27 last year.

The incident happened in Old London Road, Copdock, at about 5pm but despite the best efforts of the emergency services, he died as a result of his injuries later that evening.

An inquest into his death, held at IP City Centre in Ipswich yesterday, heard that there was nothing Mr Clint could have done to avoid colliding with Mr Scarff as he started to cross the two northbound lanes of the old A12 towards the entrance of Elm Lane.

Neil Howard, who was overtaken by Mr Clint’s 4x4 just seconds before the crash, told the hearing that at the time he believed the vehicle to be travelling at 80mph.

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But in giving evidence, Pc Richard Godden of the collision investigation team, said he could not be certain how fast the Nissan Navara was moving or where the point of impact was. Mr Clint’s passenger, Damian Christopher, said that as he moved away to cross the carriageway Mr Scarff did not look towards the Nissan, which swerved, but could not avoid making contact.

Mr Clint declined to give evidence himself but in a statement read out to the inquest, which was made just after the accident, he said Mr Scarff “appeared to be moving slowly, as if in the wrong gear” and that he had just a second to react.

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Greater Suffolk Coroner Peter Dean expressed his sympathies to Mr Scarff’s family and reiterated that the hearing was not about establishing who was at fault for the crash.

He said: “What took place was a tragic accident. Whether there was any fault, it is not for this court to determine.”

The coroner recorded a verdict of accidental death.

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