Street light theory after road tragedy

THE widower of an elderly pedestrian who died following a collision with a moped said he may sue his local council if a failed streetlight is found to be a factor in her death.

By Roddy Ashworth

THE widower of an elderly pedestrian who died following a collision with a moped said he may sue his local council if a failed streetlight is found to be a factor in her death.

Martin Coulter, 70, from Stanway, learned of the tragedy after investigating flashing blue lights outside his London Road home at just before 5pm on Monday.

His 75-year-old wife Frances was lying in the road having been involved in an accident with an Aprilia moped being ridden by a 17-year-old. She had been crossing the street after getting off a bus.

Mrs Coulter was taken to Colchester General Hospital but was pronounced dead later that evening.

The rider of the moped suffered minor injuries and shock, but did not go to hospital.

Most Read

Yesterday Mr Coulter said that a street light outside his home had not been working for some time, despite a number of reports to Colchester Borough Council.

He added it was very dark without the light and that if it had been in any way to blame for Mrs Coulter's accident he would take legal action.

"The street light went out about eight weeks before Christmas. On December 1 my daughter reported it to the council.

"I also reported it to a councillor and I assume she rang the various departments. It was working on Christmas Day but then went off again.

"I said that if any of my family were hurt I would sue.

"Compensation will not bring her back. It's not about revenge – but in situations like this in the future, it might make people rectify things a bit quicker."

Mr and Mrs Coulter married in 1959 and have lived in Colchester ever since.

She was a printer by trade, working for Telegraph Press in Magdalene Street where she was employed in proof reading and bookbinding.

The couple had two children and five grandchildren.

"She was a very nice woman. When I was working on the railways and the kids were young she never called me up to do the feeding.

"She paid all the bills – all I had to do was give her the money and she dealt with it."

A spokeswoman for Colchester Borough Council said yesterday she was not able to discuss Mr Coulter's complaint about the streetlight.

"We are unable to comment at this time in view of the possibility of litigation against the council," she explained.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter