Inquest calls for Wootton pedestrian crossing

After a pensioner was knocked down and killed in Wootton High Street last summer, his family are backing calls for a new pedestrian crossing to be put in place near the Sloop Inn.

Jacqueline Valvona, of Homebray House, Wootton, was struck by a BMW while attempting to cross the busy road on August 2 and sadly died of multiple injuries two weeks later.
Retired engineer, Terry Hinch, 76, the driver of the BMW, described how Mrs Valvona had failed to look before crossing the road. Mr Hinch made an emergency stop, but found it ‘impossible’ avoid a collision.

Police believed it likely Mr Hinch had been driving within the 30 mph speed limit, and further believe it “unlikely” that a collision could have been avoided.

Evidence from Mrs Valvona’s sons suggested the pensioner had difficulties with her eyesight. There was no evidence to suggest Mr Hinch had been driving in anything other than a perfectly responsible manner.

Island coroner, Caroline Sumeray, raised concerns during the hearing with regard to the number of elderly people crossing the road near to the Sloop, instead of walking up the hill to make use of the existing crossing. The coroner now intends writing to Island Roads to raise her concerns.

Sgt Simon Morgan, senior accident investigator, told the inquest he would support a new crossing in the area. The call for the new crossing is also supported by Mrs Valvona’s sons, Vincent and Patrick.

The coroner concluded Mrs Valvona had died as the result of a road traffic collision.