Blinding sun blamed for fatal car crash

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A PENSIONER was knocked over and killed after blinding sun caused a driver to lose sight of the road.

William Hall, of East Herrington, was on Silksworth Road when he was hit at a crossing.

An inquest at the Civic Centre heard that Raymond Gilstin, driving a Ford Ranger at 30mph, was distracted by the sun’s glare on December 7 last year and did not see the 92-year-old before hitting him.

Interviewed at the roadside by police, Mr Gilstin said: “I slowed down before the incident because I couldn’t see. I didn’t break, I eased off.

“I was coming up to this bend and was blinded by the sun. I had the sun visor down, and the next thing, there was a bang and he was in front of me.”

A second vehicle – a Citroen Berlingo driven at about 30 miles per hour by Nicholas Paolizzi – then crashed into Mr Gilstin’s car because the “hazardous” driving conditions meant he did not see the brake lights of the Ford Ranger.

Sophie Stewart, who had stopped her VW Beetle so Mr Hall could cross the road, said the pensioner did not look left when crossing.

Forensic collision investigation officer Pc Michael Lowry, who gave a report on the crash, said that based on CCTV footage collected from a nearby house, a Go North East bus and witness statements, the fatal accident was caused by both driver and pedestrian.

“In light of the whole circumstances, we’ve got two parties both accountable for the final outcome.

“Mr Gilstin has driven no differently to other drivers in the same conditions and taken steps to prevent the effects of the sun.

“Mr Hall also has not taken all the steps towards his safety as he didn’t look left.”

Senior Coroner Derek Winter confirmed pathologist Dr Nigel Cooper’s cause of death as chest injuries.

Conclusion: accident.