Send your news, photos and videos by texting bucksfreepress to 80360 or email
Hit and run inquest: Driver would be fully aware of collision
THE DRIVER of a hit and run vehicle that struck a man on a motorway slip road, leading to his death, would have been fully aware of what they had done, an inquest heard.
22-year-old Marc Williams, from Hedsor Road in Bourne End, died after being hit in the early hours of the morning on the approach to the southbound A404 near Cox Green on December 1 last year.
Berkshire Coroner Peter Bedford also ruled the driver may have done nothing wrong, as they would not have reasonably expected to see pedestrians, who are not permitted on the motorway network.
After a nine-month investigation, multiple press and TV appeals, and a £1,000 reward for information, police been unable to trace the vehicle that struck the Marlow Rugby Club player.
Coroner Peter Bedford said: “What makes it even worse for the family is there is no driver to come here and describe what happened.
“Why he was there remains an uncertainty. What we can say for sure is that Mark was on the slip road and was hit by a vehicle, and that vehicle did not stop.
“It is conceivable that the driver did nothing wrong. Mark was on the slip road and it was dark. Drivers would not expect to see him there.
“But any reasonable driver would have been aware of the collision. The fact the driver has not been tracked does not change the conclusion I have found that Mark died as a result of a road traffic death.”
The court in Windsor heard the 22-year-old had been drinking while watching a former work colleague’s band at Smokey Joe’s in Maidenhead.
After initially saying he was not staying all night, Mr Williams changed his mind after meeting friends and stayed until he was led out by door staff, with bouncers claiming he was “too drunk”.
Doormen suggested he call a taxi home, but he insisted he would walk.
CCTV footage captured Mark walking near the Holiday Inn off Shoppenhangers Road towards the area his body was found, with the last sighting of him alive at 2.16am.
He was discovered shortly afterwards by a pair of sewage workers, who spotted his body lying in the road while driving.
An ambulance took Mr Williams to Wexham Park Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Tony Reading, a collision investigator for Thames Valley Police, said it is impossible to know if Mr Williams was on the carriageway or verge when he was hit.
However he said clothing scuff marks on the road were consistent with Mr Williams sliding after impact or being dragged along by a vehicle, but these began 1.2 metres away the grass verge.
Mr Reading said drivers would not reasonably expect to see pedestrians on the slip road as the highway code prohibits it, adding that headlights may not have illuminated him at that point in the road.
But he stressed that any driver colliding with someone would have noticed the impact. Mark Williams, Mr Williams’ father, said his son would not necessarily have known the road was a motorway, as the sign was obscured and unlit.
And his mother Joanne Parker said the grass verge by the slip road was a "well trodden" path for locals wanting to use the footbridge over the A404 a few hundred metres further south.
Police recovered debris from a “common make of car” at the scene, but have been unable to trace the vehicle.
A toxicology report found Marc was more the double the legal drink drive limit. Forensic toxicologist Steven Kayongo said this level of 188mg could produce medium to high intoxication levels in the average social drinker.
A post mortem revealed Mr Williams had suffered brain injuries and fractures, consistent with being struck by a vehicle.
But Forensic Pathologist Simon Poole found it was impossible to tell if Mr Williams had been standing or lying down when the vehicle struck him.
And his report stated it may have been possible a fall captured on CCTV outside the nightclub could have left him concussed and more unsteady on his feet.
Mr Bedford recorded a verdict of a road traffic death at the Windsor Guild Hall today.
Comments are closed on this article.