Family calls for more safety measures on South Shields road where woman died after being hit by bus
A coroner has suggested road safety improvements after the death of a much-loved woman who died after a collision with a bus in South Shields.
Janet Louise Carey, 51 had been on her way to the hairdressers shortly before 9am on Saturday, August 29, when the collision took place with the E6 Stagecoach bus service on Chichester Road close to its junction with Westoe Road and Imeary Street.
Tragically, she was pronounced dead at the scene.
An inquest into her death was led by Terence Carney, Senior Coroner for South Tyneside and Gateshead, at the Coroner’s Court, in Station Road, Hebburn, on Thursday, April 29.
The inquest heard how Ms Carey, a telecommunications officer from South Shields, had been crossing Chichester Road – a route she was familiar with – when the collision took place.
A post-mortem examination found she died after suffering significant head injuries.
Pc Steven Malt, one of the officers involved in the investigation, said Ms Carney had been on a pedestrian island and did not look right before she stepped out into the carriageway while the traffic lights showed green for vehicles and red for pedestrians.
Pc Malt confirmed there were no environmental or weather issues at the time, and the investigation had found no faults with the bus or the driver.
He said the incident happened very quickly, giving the driver no opportunity to act and stop.
Coroner Carney said: “No criticism or sanction can be directed to him [the bus driver] in any way.
"It was a traumatic experience for him. He tried as best he could to seek assistance.”
Coroner Carney said that Janet “suffered significant head injuries inadvertently sustained in a road traffic collision” and ruled the cause of death as “accidental death”.
He said: “We all led very busy lives and the tragedy is that everyone that day, Janet and the bus driver in particular, were going about their normal daily business where unfortunately they have come together in this catastrophic and tragic way.”
Janet’s brother Stephen Carey was present at the inquest and said that it was a ‘tragic accident.’
He said: “The family are thinking about the bus driver.”
During proceedings, Mr Carey raised concerns over the safety of the Chichester Road crossing for pedestrians and said he wanted to see ‘look left’ and ‘look right’ markings painted on the ground to help those crossing.
He said: “That particular island is very confusing. The amount of people that have come forward to me since this and said that they have had some near misses.”
Pc Malt said he had spoken with South Tyneside Council about Mr Carey’s concerns, and the authority stated that “the junction complies with legislation”.
Coroner Carney said he would raise the family’s concerns with South Tyneside Council in writing, adding: “It seems to me that any assistance that can be given to assist and remind people of the real and present danger they are in should be employed.”
A South Tyneside Council spokeswoman said: "We would like to offer our sincere condolences to Janet’s family at this difficult time.
"As always, we will carefully consider any recommendations from the coroner once we receive them, and take any appropriate action.”