Northampton man died after running into path of lorry on the A45

A Northampton lorry driver had 'absolutely no chance' of avoiding a man who died after he ran into the path of his vehicle on the A45, an inquest heard.

Wednesday, 13th July 2016, 1:35 pm
Updated Wednesday, 13th July 2016, 2:40 pm
A man was killed after he ran into the path of a lorry on the A45 in Northampton. Google image.

Shaun Lear, aged 39, of Gallfield Court, Bellinge, Northampton, had been drinking alcohol and taken cocaine before he walked on to the busy dual-carriageway near the Great Billing exit on December 15 last year, a coroner was told.

An inquest at Northampton General Hospital heard a number of motorists travelling on the A45 shortly after 5pm noticed that Lear appeared to be stumbling into the road.

Craig Wright, a courier driver, said he saw a bus swerve in front of him and he then saw a man in the road wearing dark clothing who was “swaying as if he was drunk”.

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The inquest heard Lear then crossed the eastbound carriageway and then climbed over the central reservation barriers.

Barry Peck, an undertaker who was travelling on the A45 towards Wellingborough, said he saw Lear then “intentionally” run into the path of an oncoming lorry.

Mr Peck said: “He could have avoided the lorry. I do not understand why he ran into the path of the lorry.”

A statement from the lorry driver read to the inquest said it was raining heavily on the evening of the collision and poor lighting on that stretch of the road made visibility difficult.

The lorry driver said he immediately applied his brakes after he felt he had hit something and when he saw Mr Lear’s body he stopped his vehicle and called emergency services.

PC David Watson, a collision investigator, said the lorry driver would have only had “one second” to react to Mr Lear’s presence in the road giving him “no opportunity” to avoid the collision.

The inquest heard a statement from Mr Lear’s ex-girlfriend who said he struggled to overcome a drug addiction.

County coroner Anne Pember recorded a narrative verdict. She stated the lorry driver could have done “absolutely nothing” to avoid the tragedy.