Coroner’s call for lighting at crash scene

Floral tributes at the scene of Jessica Dunning's death.
Floral tributes at the scene of Jessica Dunning's death.

A coroner is calling for street lighting along a stretch of road on the outskirts of Skegness in which a teenage girl lost her life.

Senior coroner for Central Lincolnshire Stuart Fisher said he will make the recommendation to Lincolnshire County Council regarding the A158 Burgh Road in the area of Southview Leisure Park.

It follows the death of Jessica Dunning, 16, for whom an inquest was held in Spilsby on Thursday.

The coroner’s court was told that the Lincoln College student was struck by a car travelling westbound along the A158 Burgh Road near Southview Leisure Park, where she lived, at about 7am on December 17, and then run over by a car, a double-decker bus, and then two more cars.

The inquest was told the cause of death was ‘head and chest injuries sustained in a road traffic collision’.

Miss Dunning, the court was told, would catch the bus at an ‘informal’ stop on the opposite side of the A158 to her home to reach college.

The inquest was told there was no street lighting in the area and two of the drivers involved in the incident described conditions as ‘pitch black’.

The driver of the first car to strike Miss Dunning told police she appeared in front of him ‘as quickly as lightning’, the court was told.

Lincolnshire Police crash investigator Pc Raymond Holloway said: “I do not believe the average motorist would have seen and reacted to her presence in sufficient time to take avoiding action.”

He concluded Miss Dunning either failed to see the first car or misjudged its speed and distance ahead of the collision and the driver of the vehicle failed to see her in sufficient time to take any avoiding action.

He described the lack of street lighting as a ‘contributory factor’ in the incident.

In conclusion, Mr Fisher said Miss Dunning died as a result of a road traffic incident. He added, though, he would suggest to the council to extend street lighting to the area, speaking of a ‘clear correlation between good lighting and enhanced safety’.

In a statement from Miss Dunning’s father Ben, Miss Dunning was described as ‘a genuine, nice, honest, trustworthy girl’.

A spokesman for the council said it will ‘consider options which are appropriate at this site’ once it has received the coroner’s report.