Brandon mum: Close crossing

Tragic teenager Brandon Nugent, 13, from Gilesgate, Durham, who was killed in a notorious accident blackspot while crossing a busy dual carriageway on the A690 in Durham. His mother Madeline Walker has called for the ancient crossing to be shut down.
Tragic teenager Brandon Nugent, 13, from Gilesgate, Durham, who was killed in a notorious accident blackspot while crossing a busy dual carriageway on the A690 in Durham. His mother Madeline Walker has called for the ancient crossing to be shut down.
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A GRIEVING mum is calling for the road crossing where her teenage son was tragically killed to be closed, after an inquest into his death.

Brandon Nugent, 13, died on March 21 after being hit by a car while crossing the A690 road between Gilesgate roundabout and the Belmont turn-off slip road.

His mum Madeline Walker spoke out after an inquest recorded a verdict of accidental death.

She said she hoped the outcome will lead Durham County Council to close the crossing where he died.

She said: “Durham County Council is now holding a public consultation into the safety of the crossing and we still need as many people as possible to respond.

“However, I firmly believe that what came out at the inquest proves beyond any doubt that what’s best all round is that the crossing be closed down.”

The inquest at Chester-le-Street Magistrates’ Court heard how at about 7pm that night, St Leonard’s School pupil Brandon and five of his friends were returning home and had to cross Kepier Lane – a historic bridle path dating back to the 12th century – which leads over the east-bound carriageway of the road.

Brandon, of St Joseph’s Close, just off Sherburn Road, followed one of his friends across the dark carriageway when he was hit by an Audi A3 car driven by Ryan Hutchison.

Mr Hutchison, of Ushaw Moor, was taking his mother and his brother’s girlfriend to an event at the Metro Radio Arena, in Newcastle, at the time.

Despite trying to swerve out of the way, his car hit Brandon, leaving him with fatal injuries.

Pc Nigel Craig, of Durham Police’s Collision Investigation Unit, said how the stretch of road involved was very dark, making it hard for Mr Hutchison to see Brandon.

“The road does not have any illumination,” said Pc Craig. The location has very little ambient lighting.”

Deputy coroner Brenda Davidson said: “Mr Hutchison has found himself in a situation where he tried to take evasive action but he was unable to do so. It was an accidental death and that is the finding I am going to make.”

Speaking about the ruling over her son’s death, Madeline said: “We are pleased it’s over.

“I’m quite adamant of the fact that Mr Hutchison is exonerated.

“He has not done anything wrong and we want him to move on with his life.”

Twitter: @davidallison88

Verdict: Accidental death