Saturday, September 29, 2012
Motorcyclist killed at nightmare junction
THE FAMILY of an Essex motorcyclist who was killed when he was hit by a car at a “nightmare” junction on the A12 in Suffolk have called for the permanent closure of a central reservation gap on the road.
Andrew Henderson, 33, was riding his Honda motor bike in covoy with a friend along the A12 near Woodbridge when a Vauxhall Zafira driven by 57-year-old David Simmons pulled out of a side road leading to Seckford Hall Hotel in front of him.
Simmons, who intended to cross the northbound carriageway to go through a gap in the central reservation to get on to the Ipswich bound carriageway, stopped at the scene and tried to help Mr Henderson who died from his injuries.
Simmons, of Park Lane, Kirton, admitted causing Mr Henderson’s death by careless driving on Feburary 19 and walked free from court after a judge said it wasn’t necessary to send him to prison.
Simmons was ordered to do 200 hours unpaid work in the community and banned from driving for 18 months after which he wiil have to take an extended retest. He was also ordered to pay £2,000 costs.
Sentencing him Judge John Devaux said where the collision took place had been described as a “nightmare junction” by a witness. “This was the third fatal accident at this point in four years and the gap in the central reservation has now been closed on a temporary basis,” said the judge.
“You say you deeply regret your error and fully accept you should have seen Mr Henderson as he approached the junction and you cannot explain why you didn’t do so,” he added.
After yesterday’s hearing at Ipswich Crown Court Mr Henderson’s family called for the temporary closure of the central reservation gap to be made peramanent.
“Andrew was the fourth person to lose their life there in just a few years. That is four too many. Human life is surely more valuable than having to drive a little further. No-one should have to go through the pain that we as a family have had to endure since losing such a special person.”
Michael Crimp, prosecuting said witnesses had described Mr Henderson, from Colchester, and his friend as driving sensibly within the speed limit prior to the accident.
Richard Wood for Simmons said his client wished to express his “deep regret” to Mr Henderson’s family and friends. “He is horrified by the consequences of the mistake he made that day.”
He said that Simmons had no previous convictions and no endorsements on his licence prior to the collision.
He said the collision had a deep impact on him and he had suffered nightmares and had difficulty sleeping since it happened.