Hereford & Worcester

Overgrown verge 'a factor' in Dormington dog walker's death

An overgrown grass verge was a major contributing factor in the death of a dog walker who was hit by a car, an inquest has heard.

Josephine Wilson, 66, died on 6 June 2014 as she attempted to cross the road near her home in the Herefordshire village of Dormington, it was told.

Coroner Roland Wooderson concluded Mrs Wilson had died as a result of a road traffic collision.

Herefordshire Council said it had yet to be informed of all the facts.

The coroner also concluded the overgrown grass verge was a major contributing factor in her death.

Mrs Wilson's terrier, Toby, also died.

'Hard to see'

Giving evidence at Hereford Town Hall, Nicholas Aubrey, who had been driving a Honda Civic, said he was travelling within the 40mph (64 km/h) speed limit, but the grass on the side of the road was very high and that must have obscured his view of Mrs Wilson.

PC David Langridge, from West Mercia Police, said the grass was 2m (6.6ft) tall.

He said this was a "major contributory factor" as a driver heading towards the village would find it hard to see further than the bend and pedestrians had to step out into the road to see if anything was coming.

PC Langridge said there was no evidence to suggest Mr Aubrey had been speeding.

In a statement at the inquest, Rachel Rice, from Balfour Beatty, which has been cutting the grass on behalf of Herefordshire Council since August last year, said in areas where there were safety concerns the grass was cut six times a year.

She said there no reports were received about that spot before Mrs Wilson's death.

In a statement after the inquest, Herefordshire Council said it offered its condolences to the family and it had "yet to assess the full coroner's report".

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