Reason for Wisbech stalwart Roger Green’s death still a mystery

PUBLISHED: 15:05 13 February 2012

Cllr Roger Green

Cllr Roger Green

A former town mayor died after the car he was driving veered into on-coming traffic and crashed into a family car, an inquest heard today.

Roger Green, 77, was involved in the head-on collision with an Audi A4 on the A47 Wisbech bypass close to the junction with Broad End road, Walsoken, at 2.42pm on July 18, 2011.

He was treated at the scene and flown to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge but the town councillor died from multiple injuries later the same day.

Cllr Green, former mayor of Wisbech, was on his way home from a Golden Age Fair meeting at Fenland Hall in March when the crash took place.

Norfolk coroner William Armstrong today said the 77-year-old died as a result of the road traffic collision but added the reasons why his vehicle veered into on-coming traffic was “a mystery”.

Anthony Marjoram was driving a lorry behind Cllr Green, who lived in Ardleigh Close, Wisbech, and spoke at today’s inquest hearing at King’s Lynn County Court.

Asked about Cllr Green’s driving manner before the crash, he said: “When we got to the [Elme Hall] roundabout, I noticed the unusually slow speed of the blue Nissan in front of me. There was no reason why he was travelling so slowly up to the roundabout.

“About a quarter of a mile after the roundabout, I started gaining on him and then he swerved into the middle of the road. He corrected it fairly quickly but I couldn’t see why he had done it. I assumed he had been distracted briefly.

“Further down the road, we started to catch up with a line of traffic and both started slowing down but then the Nissan just swerved out of our lane and into the on-coming traffic.

“It was far more dramatic than the previous swerve. There was no indication and I don’t think the manoeuvre was an attempt to overtake the traffic.”

Lee Worth was the driver of the black Audi A4 which collided with Cllr Green’s blue Nissan Almera and he also spoke at the inquest hearing.

He was travelling along the A47 heading towards Wisbech to return to his home in Leicester after enjoying a weekend in Sheringham with his family.

He said: “I was travelling at a fairly steady speed and then all of a sudden a car from the on-coming traffic come out in front of me.

“There was no warning at all. All I can remember is shouting before hearing the loudest bang I have ever heard and our car spinning around.”

Norfolk Police accident investigator PC Wendy Biddle told the inquest hearing the Nissan and Audi were both substantially damaged in the crash which limited her examination but she found no defects with either vehicle.

“There is no medical evidence to explain his manner of driving and there was no mechanical fault with his vehicle,” she added. “I am unable to provide an explanation for this manoeuvre.”

Educated at Wisbech Grammar School, Cllr Green joined the editorial staff of the Wisbech Standard in 1950.

After two years National Service as a shorthand instructor in the RAF, he became sports editor for 11 years and then editor for 21 years. Born in Ely, he succeeded his father as editor of the Wisbech Standard and took early retirement in the 1980s.

Cllr Green’s wife, Margaret, has described her husband as a “lovely man” who loved Wisbech and that his death was a “great loss to Wisbech, his friends and his family”.

Cllr Green was editor when some of the biggest incidents in Wisbech’s history took place, including the floods of 1978 in which one person died and a quarter of the town went underwater.

Journalists trained by Cllr Green during his time as editor include Chris Lakey, head of sport at Archant Norfolk and Simon Caney, editor-in-chief of Sport magazine and talksport.co.uk.

Cllr Green was chairman of Wisbech Town Council’s general purposes and finance committee for the past nine years and for six years was leader of the council.

He was also founder chairman and current president of Fenland Youth Soccer League and was patron of Fenland Branch of the Royal Society of St George.

He also served on Wisbech Chamber of Commerce Committee, Wisbech Tourism Group, Fenland Twinning Committee, Wisbech Neighbourhood Forum; Wisbech Regeneration and Development Trust and Wisbech Environmental Liaison Group.

In his younger days Cllr Green gained his county colours for athletics, played football for Hereford United, Upwell Town and Wisbech Rovers. He also boxed as an amateur and enjoyed playing cricket and badminton.

He was a director of Wisbech Town FC for 30 years before becoming vice-president, and for 13 years he was a professional talent scout for Reading FC.


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