‘Lessons to be learned’ after pedestrian killed near Emneth

The crest above the entrance to King's Lynn Court in College Lane.
The crest above the entrance to King's Lynn Court in College Lane.

A coroner has called for lessons to be learned following the death of a 23-year-old pedestrian near Emneth.

Mantas Nedveckas, a factory worker from Wisbech, died after he was hit by a delivery van while he was walking home along the A1101 on January 31.

On the night of the accident, at around 7pm, Mr Nedveckas was travelling on foot from Downham when police officers saw him at Salters Lode.

The officers asked the factory worker, who was wearing dark clothing, what he was doing and he explained he was going home to Wisbech.

The inquest heard that as the policemen were driving in that direction, to Tipps End, they decided to give him a lift for part of his journey.

The court was told that they dropped him off at what was considered to be a safer point in Outwell, and suggested he call a friend to be given a lift the rest of the way home, or if he was to carry on along the road, to walk on the grass verge.

The inquest heard that Stephen Roberts, an Asda delivery driver, was driving along Outwell Road towards Wisbech at around 8pm when he saw something in the road and then heard a bang.

Mr Roberts said: “I saw something running or falling and I immediately swerved. After I heard the bang, I ran back thinking it was a deer but it was a person.”

Mr Roberts told the inquest that he had not returned to work as a delivery driver or driven at all since the accident as his hands shake “all the time”.

Mr Nedveckas, originally from Lithuania, was taken to Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital but he had a significant head injury and passed away the following day. A forensic toxicology report found that he had consumed alcohol prior to the accident.

Norfolk coroner Jacqueline Lake gave a short-form conclusion of accidental death.

Mrs Lake said: “There are some lessons to be learned from this. First of all, when it is dark and there is no other traffic, I am of the view a full beam will help with visibility.

“That will enable a driver to have more time to react, however, I do not think this would have made a difference to the outcome. I am of the view [Mr Roberts] had no time to react.”

The coroner added that pedestrians should: use a footpath where there is one available; wear light and high-visibility clothing; carry a torch; and not consume alcohol if walking in a roadway.

Mrs Lake offered her sympathy to Mr Nedveckas’ family.