Tragic death of deaf Northampton man who stepped into path of fire engine heard at inquest

Matthew McPhearson was knocked to the floor by a passing fire engine in December last year.
Matthew McPhearson was knocked to the floor by a passing fire engine in December last year.

"Nothing could have been done" to avoid the tragic death of a deaf Northampton man who was hit by a fire engine just days before Christmas.

Matthew McPherson, AKA Steffan Craig, was knocked to the floor by a passing fire truck on its way to a call out as he crossed Towcester Road, in Delapre, on December 20, 2017.

Matthew McPherson, AKA Steffan Craig, was struck by a fire truck while crossing a road in Northampton. He died the next day.

Matthew McPherson, AKA Steffan Craig, was struck by a fire truck while crossing a road in Northampton. He died the next day.

An inquest into his death held yesterday (May 17) heard how Matthew "just stepped" out into the road and seemingly did not realise the fire engine was approaching despite driving with blue lights and sirens on.

The driver swerved to avoid Matthew but he was tragically struck. Officers immediately began CPR and Matthew was rushed to hospital, but he died the next day.

Senior coroner Anne Pember told the inquest: "There was nothing the driver could have done to avoid this tragic accident.

"He walked into the road without checking it was safe as a fire engine was approaching with blue lights and sirens in operation."

Eyewitnesses said Matthew did not seem to realise the fire engine was approaching despite having blue lights and sirens in operation.

Eyewitnesses said Matthew did not seem to realise the fire engine was approaching despite having blue lights and sirens in operation.

The inquest heard how Matthew was profoundly deaf and was looking at his phone as he stepped out into the road. He was also three times over the legal limit for alcohol at the time.

Chief Fire Officer Darren Dovey said: “We would like the family of Matthew McPherson to know our thoughts are very much with them at this traumatic time.

"Crew members worked hard to deliver CPR to Mr McPherson at the scene but sadly his life could not be saved, despite our efforts.

“This collision was a tragic accident that will never be forgotten by those involved within Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service. Our deepest sympathies go out to Mr McPherson’s family.”

Coroner Anne Pember recorded a verdict of accidental death. No charges have been brought against the driver.