Driver was unable to see Haverhill man before fatal collision on unlit road

Peter 'Pedro' Murray
Peter 'Pedro' Murray
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A popular Haverhill man died when he was struck by a car on the town’s bypass as he walked home from the pub, an inquest has heard.

Peter ‘Pedro’ Murray, 46, had more than two and a half times the legal drink drive limit of alcohol in his blood when the accident happened on the late evening of October 3 last year.

Today (Monday) at Suffolk Coroners Court in Ipswich, the inquest was told that Mr Murray, of Sorrel Walk, Haverhill, had spent the evening in a nearby pub.

On the A1017, close to the Spirit of Enterprise roundabout, Mr Murray had been walking along the road when he was involved in a collision with an Audi car at about 11.15pm.

The inquest heard how car driver Christopher England had not spotted Mr Murray.

Forensic collision investigator PC Jeff Cribb said Mr England had been driving using dipped headlights to avoid dazzling the driver of an oncoming lorry.

PC Cribb said: “Mr England basically didn’t see Mr Murray in the road before the ollision.

“Mr Murray would have been available to be seen but because of the very short distance the headlights were thrown forward and lack of other lighting, Mr England wouldn’t have seen Mr Murray.”

In the collision, Mr Murray sustained a severe head and neck injury and despite the efforts of passers-by, including a trainee paramedic, to help, he was declared dead at the scene.

A subsequent post mortem examination showed that Mr Murray would have died instantly.

PC Cribb said tests showed a high level of alcohol in Mr Murray’s blood at a scale which would normally be associated with significant drunkenness or even coma.

Giving his findings, PC Cribb said: “It is my opinion that Mr Murray was heavily affected by alcohol and this led to him being in the carriageway when this tragedy occurred.”

Assistant Suffolk Coroner Dr Daniel Sharpstone recorded a conclusion that Mr Murray died from the consequences of a road traffic accident.

For more on this tory, including reaction from Mr Murray’s family, buy this Thursday’s Haverhill Echo.