Coroner calls for road changes after rugby star killed on A19 smash near Hartlepool

CHANGES NEEDED: The fatal crash on the A19.
CHANGES NEEDED: The fatal crash on the A19.

A CORONER is calling for a ban on right hand turns at a Hartlepool danger junction following the tragic death of a sportswoman at the spot.

Scottish rugby star Keri Holdsworth, a 36-year-old physiotherapist from the Edinburgh area, died in hospital the day after the crash on the A19 northbound at the junction with Dalton Piercy, around 4.30pm on Friday, June 13, last year.

An inquest heard that the cause of her tragic death was as a result of brain, chest and leg injuries and hypovolemic shock.

And despite ruling a verdict of “accidental death”, coroner Malcolm Donnelly announced that he would be writing to the Highways Agency and Hartlepool Borough Council in a bid for major changes at the junction which links the country road and the busy dual carriageway.

Mr Donnelly said: “This is one of a number of incidents of which I’ve become aware over the years at that particular junction.

“So, I’m going to write to the Highways Agency and Hartlepool Borough Council to give consideration to closing the junction for right hand turns both from the A19 into Dalton Back Lane, and from the Dalton Piercy junction to go north bound on the A19.

“It’s the latest in a series of incidents at this particular junction over a number of years, and as a result of which I feel compelled to alert the appropriate agencies to consider closure for vehicles turning right.”

Keri died in the James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough on June 14 last year, the day after the crash.

A post mortem was carried out by pathologist Dr Jan Lowe who ruled that Keri’s death was caused by hyproxic brain injury, hypovolemic shock, chest injuries and severe leg injuries.

Mr Donnelly said: “Keri was driving north-bound on the A19 and there was a vehicle in front of her which had to brake suddenly because there was a van coming out of that junction.

“For reasons which we don’t know she wasn’t able to retain control of her vehicle and ended up crossing the central reservation and ended up in the fast lane of the southbound A19 carriageway and collided with a BMW car almost head on.

“It was a high speed impact.”

“Keri obviously lost control of her car, that’s all that we can summise.

“Perhaps there was a moment’s inattention on her part which was all it took. There were tragic consequences.”

The driver of the other vehicle received non-fatal injuries.

Following Keri’s death the Highways Agency did commission a study to look at a number of junctions between the A689 at Wynyard and the A179 at Sheraton, details of which are scheduled to be published next month.