Man who died in A505 accident “put himself in danger”

Oliver Pritchard

Oliver Pritchard - Credit: Archant

A MAN who died when he was involved in a collision with a car on the A505 “put himself in danger” by walking onto the dual carriageway, an inquest heard.

Ollie Pritchard, 22, died in the early hours of November 10 last year after the collision near the turning for Slip End farm, on the A505 between Royston and Baldock.

Recording a verdict of accidental death, Hertfordshire coroner Edward Thomas said: “What happened here was a terrible tragedy. Ollie was obviously much loved by his family and friends, and his death has been a devastating loss for them.

“I’ve had a number of cases like this over the years, and when people walk along the side of roads at night they are very difficult to pick out for drivers.”

An inquest at Hertfordshire Coroner’s Court on Tuesday heard that Mr Pritchard was walking back to his home, in Hillside, Royston, from Baldock, at about 6am, after a night out with friends in Stevenage.

He was walking along a stretch of the A505 where there is no footpath when he was struck by a BMW being driven by Amrikman Mann, who like Mr Pritchard worked at Johnson Matthey in Royston.

He told the inquest he didn’t see Mr Pritchard, who was wearing dark clothing and had walked out into the left-hand land lane of the dual carriageway.

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Mr Mann said: “I heard a thump like I had hit something, then my windscreen shattered.”

The inquest then heard from Pc Robert Wagstaff, of the Cambs, Herts and Beds Roads Policing Unit.

He said it would have been “difficult, if not impossible”, for any driver to stop, especially given the inclement weather conditions on the day.

“I’m afraid he [Mr Pritchard] put himself in danger,” he added.

Mr Pritchard was a former pupil of Barkway Primary School, Greneway Middle School in Royston and Freman College, Buntingford.

Following his death, his mother Sarah, said: “Ollie was a strong willed character who knew his own mind and I am very proud of him and everything he was achieving in his life. Overall he was a lovely lad, who would help anyone out if they needed anything and who always had time for other people.”