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Coroner asks Croydon Council to take action after double Coulsdon road tragedy

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A CORONER has asked the council to take action after two pedestrians were killed in almost exactly the same spot in Coulsdon last year. The inquests into the deaths of Julie Maudsley, 51, and Robert Prescott, 38, both took place at Croydon Coroner's Court today (Thursday). Mrs Maudsley, of Greenfield Link, Coulsdon, was hit by a Vauxhall Insignia in Coulsdon Road, at its junction with Cearn Way, last August 2 as she tried to cross behind a queue of cars waiting behind a double-decker bus on the way home from a night out at an open-air theatre. Marks and Spencer sales assistant Mr Prescott, of Birchfield Close, Coulsdon, was hit while crossing the road after getting off the bus by a Ford car just two months later on October 8. Neither driver was travelling above the speed limit of 30 miles per hour and coroner Dr Roy Palmer recorded verdicts of accidental deaths due to road-traffic accidents in both inquests. Mrs Maudsley, a teaching assistant at Keston Primary School, died at St George's Hospital in Tooting a week after the accident on August 8 while Mr Prescott died a few hours after he was knocked down. Mr Prescott's mother, Rita Short, told the emotional driver of the car her son was knocked down by, Julie Verlander she considered her "as much of a victim as I am" in all of this and called for a zebra crossing to be installed at the spot. A Croydon Council officer from the highways department, Mike Barton, told Dr Palmer what had been heard in the court would be taken back for consideration and to assess the next steps. But he also said there were other parts of Coulsdon Road which were considered more dangerous by the council and that these were the first collisions at this particular spot in the last five years. Mr Prescott, who was considered to be partially sighted and had received regular check-ups at Moorfields Eye Hospital since 1994, was hit as he was returning home from a shift at work at approximately 8pm. Mrs Verlander said she had seen Mr Prescott's friend, dressed in brighter colours, but had not seen Mr Prescott cross the road. The collision investigator, Matthew McCormack, said this may well have been because of the glare of the lights and the fact Mr Prescott was wearing dark clothes. Mrs Verlander said she had just heard a thud and had to be told Mr Prescott was injured on a grass verge on the side of the road. Mr Prescott's autopsy showed he died of multiple injuries. Ms Short did not accept any suggestions her son's visual impairment should have been a considered a contributing factor as he had been a keen trainspotter for years. A post-mortem gave Mrs Maudsley's cause of death as the result of severe head injuries with contributing chest, pelvic and abdominal injuries. The court had earlier heard from Mrs Maudsley's daughter Rachael, 20, who was walking home with her mother from an open air theatre at the Coulsdon Manor Hotel when the accident happened. She said they had wanted to cross Coulsdon Road and had for a double-decker bus to leave the bus stop. She said two cars were in the queue behind the bus waiting to leave and Mrs Maudsley had walked in front of her to go round the two cars travelling away from her. She then walked out and was hit by the Vauxhall on the other side of the road. An eye-witness to the event, student Taurai Mhangami said he had seen Mrs Maudsley running across the road and that she did not stop when she reached the white line in the middle of the road before she was hit by the car. The driver of the Vauxhall, Jack Mayle, who was with his passenger and friend Robert Gunn, said all he remembered was going past a double-decker bus followed by a woman stepping out in front of his right headlight and hitting her. In his statement to police Mr Mayle said: "It was just a tragic accident." Police breathalysed Mr Mayle and gave him a sobriety test, which he passed and he faced no criminal charges. Mrs Maudsley, also had a son, James, 19, At the time of her death, Mrs Maudsley's niece, Natalie McCann, said: "No-one could say a bad word about Julie: she was an amazing woman; she was loved by many, many people." Dr Palmer concluded proceedings by saying he would consider writing a Prevention of Future Deaths report as a result of the two inquests.

Coroner asks Croydon Council to take action after double Coulsdon road tragedy


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