Stafford Road crash: Pensioner Hopton Gayle 'hit while using pelican crossing'

By Marion Brennan | Wolverhampton | Crime | Published:

A pensioner who died after being knocked down by a driver who failed to stop had been using a pelican crossing at the time, an inquest heard.

Hopton Gayle

Police are still questioning a man in connection with the death of 80-year-old Hopton Gayle as he crossed the A449 Stafford Road, Wolverhampton, on February 19.

Sergeant Alan Hands, of West Midlands Police collision investigations unit, told an inquest that a vehicle had initially stopped at the scene but then drove away.

It was found dumped further along the Stafford Road near the Fox's Lane junction at Five Ways Island shortly afterwards, as officers attended the fatal collision.

Mr Gayle, a Jamaican-born retired builder, had lived with his wife in Aethelred Court, a sheltered housing scheme in Leverton Rise, Wolverhampton, the inquest heard.

He suffered severe head injuries in the collision, which occurred just after 6pm, close to where the couple lived. Paramedics battled to save his life but he was confirmed dead at the scene. A post mortem concluded death was due to multiple injuries.

The 19-year-old suspect handed himself into police some time after the collision and was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving. He was released under investigation pending further inquiries.

Sgt Hands told the hearing that police had launched an extensive CCTV trawl, including footage belonging to the many householders and owners of businesses properties that lined the busy road.

"Mr Gayle was struck while using a pelican crossing," he said. "The vehicle was recovered and forensically linked to that collision.


“We are still working to establish the circumstances of the collision and would ask anyone who hasn’t spoken to officers already to get in touch.”

He said that a report on the incident would take at least four months to compile. It would then be sent to the Crown Prosecution Service to decide whether there was sufficient evidence to press charges.

Black Country assistant coroner David Urpeth, sitting at Oldbury, adjourned the inquest for five months pending the police and CPS inquiries.

Anyone with information or who saw the collision is urged to call the unit on 101; quoting log 1953 of 19 February. Alternatively email .

Marion Brennan

By Marion Brennan

News and features reporter, specialising in human interest and local history stories.

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