Inquest into death of Sunderland dad Gary Sloan hears coroner's report will highlight safety concerns at A690 accident spot

A coroner is to write to highway bosses about improving safety at the spot on a Sunderland road where two people have died in four years.

Saturday, 18th January 2020, 8:00 am
Updated Sunday, 19th January 2020, 4:49 pm
Emergency services at the scene of the crash

Accident investigator PC Alan Bowman said one witness had described seeing standing water and what appeared to be spilt fuel on the road, though he had not observed any evidence of a fuel spillage at the scene.

A witness had seen Mr Sloan’s Ford Fiesta go out of control before leaving the carriageway: “I saw the car wobble slightly, as if it had hit ice. I expected it to correct itself but it began to spin in the road.”

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Police accident investigators on the A690

Another had described being overtaken by Mr Sloan’s car on Houghton Cut: “I don’t know how fast it was going, but I would say it was about the 50mph limit. It certainly was not going very fast in my opinion.”

PC Bowman said a fatal accident had occurred at exactly the same spot in 2015: “There is a metal railing about 4ft in height – this is in a poor state of repair and set between the path and embankment. It does not run the full length of the road – there are gaps in places.” he said.

Recording a conclusion that Mr Sloan died in a road traffic collision, Senior Corner Derek Winter said he would accept a police recommendation to produce a Report to Prevent Future Deaths: “My intention is to write to the Highways Authority about what the police have brought to my attention with regard to the problems in that specific area and the installation of a safety barrier to prevent future fatalities,” he said.

“It certainly would prevent vehicles from going down the embankment and colliding with trees and other obstacles.

“It will also include a review about cleaning of drains and gutters to ensure the level of intervention by the highways authority there is appropriate for that particular location.”