Woman’s death in Wissington crash was ‘accidental’, inquest concludes

The crest above the entrance to King's Lynn Court. ENGANL00120120910144054
The crest above the entrance to King's Lynn Court. ENGANL00120120910144054
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Safety barriers would not have prevented the death of a woman whose car left a West Norfolk road and crashed into a water-filled ditch, county council officials have claimed.

Roseanne Stewart, who was 26, died following the collision at Wissington in February.

At an inquest, which was held at the Lynn county court on Monday, Norfolk coroner Jacqueline Lake recorded a verdict of accidental death.

The court heard Ms Stewart had been driving along the B1160 when her car overturned and came to rest in the ditch. She later died in hospital.

During the hearing, members of her family questioned why the speed limit for the road was not lower than the standard national 60 miles per hour and why there were no crash barriers in place next to the ditch.

But police said there were sufficient signs on the road to alert drivers to the dangers at the crash site.

They also argued it would be impractical to place barriers alongside every ditch.

And, following the hearing, Norfolk County Council officials suggested that crash barriers may even make some roads less safe.

A spokesman for the authority said: “This is a very sad case, and our thoughts are with Ms Stewart’s family at this time.

“Whenever a tragedy occurs, the County Council always looks carefully at the circumstances, working with the police and taking into account the outcome of the inquest, to see if there are any measures we can put in place to make the road safer.

“We have visited the site of this accident, and concluded that in this case, a barrier would not have stopped the car involved from entering the water.

“With a limited budget, it’s important to target any improvements at locations where we know they will be of benefit. We would always urge drivers to drive to the conditions of the road.”