Sun's glare may have contributed to crash on A5 in Northamptonshire

A young man died after trying to turn his car around on the A5 near DIRFT and inquest has heard.

Thursday, 21st April 2016, 10:53 am
Updated Thursday, 21st April 2016, 11:55 am
The A5 close to the scene of the collision

Mark Grayson, 31, died following a car crash on November 12 last year on the A5 just north of DIRFT.

Yesterday (Wednesday) an inquest in Northampton heard how Mr Grayson had left his home in Avon Way, Long Lawford, Rugby, to head to work at Crick.

He stopped his Vauxhall Astra in the layby on the northbound side of the A5 just after the Danes Way roundabout, parking at the northern end.

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In a statement read out by coroner Anne Pember, Mariusz Kryczek said he had left work at DIRFT at 9am and was driving home to Rugby and planned to go north along the A5. He said: “As I was approaching the end of the layby a car pulled out into side of the carriageway. I thought the driver wanted to turn around to go back the other way. He pulled out just a few metres from my car. I collided with the driver’s side of the Astra.”

Mr Kryczek said he was doing around 50mph at the time of the collision.

The inquest heard from Andrew Holloway who was also driving to work north on the A5 and was travelling behind Mr Kryczek. He said: “In a split second there was a silver Astra that came out the layby into the carriageway.”

Mr Holloway added it was a sunny morning, but that the sun was very low at that time and the road had some damp patches.

PC Cliff Wilkins from the serious collision investigation unit at Northamptonshire Police said neither vehicle had any defects that may have contributed to the collision.

He added that although they could not find evidence of where Mr Grayson’s Astra had been in the layby, marks on the road clearly indicated the position of the collision.

He said examinations of the vehicles after the collision showed Mr Grayson’s vehicle’s speedometer was stuck at 10mph, and that this is a good indicator of the speed he was doing.

PC Wilkins told the inquest the police had restaged a similar vehicle pulling out from the layby to turn south, and the manoeuvre took two-and-a-half seconds.

He also said that by using computer models they had recreated the position of the sun that morning, and that it was very low in the sky and from Mr Grayon’s position would have been shining almost exactly from the southern direction of the A5. The strong low sun, coupled with any potential glare from the damp road could have caused Mr Grayson problems.

He concluded Mr Grayson may have carried out the manoeuvre without ‘sufficient observations’ which the sun and conditions may have made worse.

Summing up coroner Anne Pember said: “From what I have heard Mr Grayson exited from a layby on the A5 to turn. Sadly he was in collision with the vehicle driven by Mr Kryczek – being driven in an entirely appropriate fashion.”

She added: “I do feel there was nothing Mr Kryczek could have done to avoid this tragedy.”