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Residents urged not to access closed footpath in Stafford after man's death

By Dayna Farrington | Stafford | News | Published:

Council bosses are urging residents not to scale barriers to access a footpath in Stafford which has been closed following the death of a 58-year-old man who was struck by a falling tree.

The scene of the fallen tree

The Isabel Trail, off Eccleshall Road, has been closed off since last Thursday following the horrifying incident.

The man, 58, was found in a cardiac arrest but died at the scene near to Eccleshall Road Cemetery.

Staffordshire County Council took the decision to close the footpath – and an investigation has been launched into how the tree fell.

Assessments were being carried out yesterday – and council bosses say once these are complete, they can decide whether to reopen a section of the trail.

They have also urged residents not to try and access the pathway while it is still closed.

Helen Fisher, Staffordshire County Council’s cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “We have been carrying out an inspection of the route following the tragic accident last week.

“The trail remains closed and we would ask people not to attempt to scale the barriers to gain access to the pathway until all the investigations are complete.

“We were carrying out further assessments on Monday and once these are complete we will be in a better position to decide when we can reopen at least a section of the trail.”

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The Isabel Trail Parkrun was cancelled on Saturday, while organisers say they are still not sure whether this Saturday's will go ahead.

When asked about this weekend's event, a spokesman for the event said: "We don’t know at the moment. We are keeping an eye out for updates from the council and Health and Safety Executive (HSE) on their investigations and when they reopen the trail."

A spokesman for the HSE said: "We are aware of the incident and are jointly investigating with the police.”

Previously, the leader of Staffordshire County Council, Councillor Philip Atkins, said: "While we still don’t know the full circumstances of Thursday’s terrible accident the safety of people using the trail must be our priority.

"We know that the trail is hugely popular, but we are asking people not to be tempted to use the trail until investigations can be fully completed.

“All our thoughts of course remain with this gentleman’s family following this tragic accident.”

Dayna Farrington

By Dayna Farrington
Senior reporter based at Wolverhampton

Reporter for the Express & Star based at Wolverhampton.

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