Death of pensioner killed crossing the road 'was accidental'

The death of an 83-year-old man who was struck by a van while crossing the road was accidental, a coroner has ruled.

Graham Palmer died from a head injury after he was hit by a Volkswagen van, which Ian Kiernan was reversing at slow speed in Chasetown High Street, on December 19.

Mr Palmer was returning from the post office, where he had delivered a Christmas present to an old friend, when he walked in Mr Kiernan’s blind spot as he crossed the road to his car.

No criminal action was brought against Mr Kiernan, Cannock Coroners Court was told.

Mr Kiernan, from Oldbury, attended the inquest and told the Express & Star: “I offer my condolences.”

Mr Palmer, of Brackenhill Road, Burntwood, had no family and lived alone, however neighbours said he was a popular member of the community.

Paying tribute, his neighbour Barry Wedgbury, 76, said: “He was a well-liked guy and lived at his address for 20 years. Everyone knew him. He was a dog walker and we all knew each other and had a clique.

“Graham was posting a Christmas present to an old friend (on the day of the accident).”

He added: “He had no family and was retired and worked as a butcher and a driver.”

After the collision took place at about 2.25pm, Mr Kiernan quickly got out of his van and performed CPR on Mr Palmer. However the head injury proved fatal.

Two witnesses, Gemma Dent and Bethany Cunningham, reported that Mr Kiernan repeatedly said “I didn’t see him”, referring to Mr Palmer, after the collision.

Ms Dent described the motion of Mr Palmer falling as “like a bowling skittle” where he did not put out his arms.

She estimated the van was travelling at no more than “4 to 5mph”, the court was told.

Assistant coroner for south Staffordshire Emma Serrano said: “I am satisfied on the balance on probability the death was accidental. I would like to extend my condolences to the death victim.”

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