Wellingborough Road hit-and-run: Business owner felt obliged to help victim because of community spirit
Retailer believes drivers and pedestrians need to take care on the busy road but campaigner backs lower speed limit
A Northampton business owner believes the community spirit along Wellingborough Road meant he was obliged to help the victim of a hit-and-run get justice.
Ben Taylor from TS2 Menswear provided Amber Carter-Thompson with CCTV of the crash in April 2019, which proved vital in convicting the driver.
He thinks the town's 'secondary high street' is safe and the speed limit does not need to be lowered but drivers and pedestrians need to take care.
"It's just a busy road in a residential area and a commercial area so you have to be careful when you are crossing the road but that's the same everywhere," he said.
"But if someone has done something wrong then if we can help like with the CCTV footage and we tried to assist the police in the past, I think that's what every business here would do."
Amber suffered a broken leg after being hit by a silver Renault Clio, which failed to stop, while crossing the road opposite the Pickering Phipps at 10.45pm on Good Friday.
The victim and her mother contacted businesses near to where the crash happened to ask for any CCTV footage, and Ben came forward.
The victim said: "Had we not contacted the local businesses and Ben at TS2 Menswear not gone to the lengths that he did to find footage on his CCTV cameras, I would be in a very different situation in regards to the future with my injury."
TS2's external CCTV camera caught footage of the crash, which Ben sent to police who were able to enhanced the picture to figure out the number plates.
Desborough, 87, of Ashley Way, Westone, was given a £633 fine and eight points on his licence after pleading guilty to driving without due care and attention and failing to stop at Northampton Magistrates' Court on December 6.
Ben said: "Whether it's the police or a member of the public that needs assistance, being a local, family-run business, it was something we're obliged to do."
The shop owner believes Wellingborough Road is not alone in having issues with safety as it is a busy road for commerce and socialising in a residential area.
But Chris Taylor from charity RoadPeace, who organises a service every year for the families of crash victims, is surprised that section of the A4500 has not been reduced to 20mph.
"In an area like Wellingborough Road you would expect the speed limit to be lower as it's not a normal busy road," he said.
"It's got a lot of shops, pedestrians and it's busy at night so I would have thought it would be lower."
Meanwhile, several Chronicle & Echo readers on Facebook claimed pedestrians, not drivers, are more to blame for the issues on Wellingborough Road.
Chris Beale wrote: "There are like a million pelican crossings on that road but still pedestrians insist on walking out between two parked cars to cross the road.
"Pretty much every single time I have driven down that road there’s a pedestrian that does that or that casually strolls across the road without looking or a pedestrian stood in the middle of the road halfway through crossing.
"A speed limit won’t help, CCTV won’t help, well it’ll help the drivers because the cameras will show pedestrians stupidity. What will help is teaching idiots how to cross the road properly."
While Vaughn R Butcher posted: "This road is chaotic at the best of times, if you cross this road without the use of the traffic light system then what do you expect!
"It's more than likely your own stupidity, I've nearly hit a few people that just decided to walk out in front of my moving car, not speeding may I add."
Others were unconvinced by a lower speed limit, like Stephen Brakel Packer: "Hit and run is a serious crime. Do we seriously think a lower speed limit would have deterred them?"
And Marcus G Knight commented: "The sort of person who would hit-and-run isn’t going to pay attention to speed restrictions either I’d guess.
"I fear you may be punishing the many for the actions of a few."