Road in Ramsey could be closed or have safety barriers installed after ‘a number of fatalities’, coroner says
PUBLISHED: 12:02 21 August 2020 | UPDATED: 15:56 24 August 2020
A stretch of road in Ramsey could be closed or have safety barriers installed after “a number of fatalities” including the death of a mother, daughter and unborn baby, a coroner has said.
Senior coroner David Heming spoke of the measures at a pre-inquest review into the tragic deaths of Jennifer Bunyan, 24, Marion Bunyan, 54 and baby Erin Chatten who was delivered after the crash on Puddock Road on June 7.
Jennifer, of Beeson Close, Little Paxton, who was pregnant, was driving a Nissan Qashqai with her mother Marion Bunyan, of Park Avenue, Little Paxton, as a passenger, when the vehicle left the road and ran into the waterway at about 11.30am.
Mr Heming, who held the hearing at Peterborough Town Hall this morning (August 21), said: “There have been a number of fatalities along this section of road for different reasons.
“But the recurring feature is because there is a water-filled ditch that tragically leads into a scenario where passengers cannot escape from a vehicle and then drown.”
Mr Heming told the court that action was needed to prevent future deaths on Puddock Road, and that he had researched the installation of safety barriers from an Australian road death organisation.
He continued: “It seems to me that there are two clear options; close the stretch all together, but that would bring significant issues and re-route traffic, or erect safety barriers all along that section of road.
“Safety barriers seem to be the most logical step.”
A similar scheme had been effective before on the A47 from Wansford to Sutton, the hearing was told.
Sergent James Thorne, from the serious collision investigation unit, said there had been no witnesses to the accident itself and that a report by a forensic collision investigator would be ready in around six weeks.
Paul Bunyan, husband of Marion and father of Jennifer, was present at the hearing.
Speaking at the opening of the inquests last month, Mr Heming said a post mortem examination on Marion indicated she had died from drowning.
Further results were awaited on Jennifer.
Erin, who had been at 30 weeks’ gestation, had died with her mother.
Marion, who had been married for 30 years, was a mother of three who worked as a teaching assistant in the special educational needs department at Longsands College, St Neots.
Jennifer had been a school librarian until becoming a full-time mother to her son Oliver, aged nearly three.
The inquests were adjourned for a full hearing to take place the week commencing November 30.
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