A WOMAN has described the sickening moment she collided with a young father of three in an accident which claimed his life
Simon Hannigan, 27, a bricklayer from Heol Hyfryd, Gwersyllt, was struck by a silver Vauxhall Corsa when he staggered on to the second lane of the A483 near the Mold junction slip road on October 26. He died instantaneously.
In a statement read out at inquest into his death yesterday, the driver of the vehicle, Louise Hughes, said: “I was driving along at about 50mph when I saw a bus slowing in the distance near the B&Q slip road and I moved into the outside lane.
“Without warning I saw a face directly in front of me, dead centre in front of the bonnet. I braked immediately, gripped the wheel tightly, closed my eyes and stopped in no time at all.
“I was completely stunned. The windscreen shattered. There was glass in my handbag and on my hands. I blacked out for a few seconds. A couple came over to see if I was all right and behind me I could see a male lying in the central reservation barrier.
“I was physically sick. I blacked out again and woke up in A&E.”
Mrs Hughes added: “I am mentally scarred and will never forget. I feel guilty even though I haven’t done anything wrong. It’s so tragic. It’s someone’s son and partner. It overwhelms me.”
The Ruthin inquest was told Mr Hannigan had been drinking with friends throughout the day and was heavily intoxicated when he was making his way home at 6.30pm.
Eye witness Donna Pinnington described how she was heading home to Llangollen when she saw the accident. “I saw the gentleman lying on the hard shoulder in front of the lay-by,” she said.
“After pulling up I called the police as it looked like he’d been hit. While on the phone he got up and walked towards the car. He was swaying, made it to the lay-by, then walked towards the hard shoulder.
“It was quite busy. He walked into the middle lane facing the traffic. I couldn’t look any more.
Another witness, GHA Coaches driver David Robert Hughes, said in a statement: “I saw a man walking across the carriageway. I pulled over, as did other cars. I heard a loud thud like a car hitting a brick wall. There was damage to the Corsa and he was face down near the barrier. He seemed oblivious to all the traffic.”
A pathology report found Mr Hannigan sustained internal haemorrhaging, a transected aorta and spine which gave him “unsurvivable injuries and an instantaneous death”.
PC James Nobbs, who carried out an investigation, said: “The driver was not exceeding the speed limit. She would also not have been able to stop in time.
“The pedestrian placed himself in unnecessary risk of contact. Collision was unavoidable.”
North Wales East and Central coroner John Gittins concluded Mr Hannigan’s death was caused by misadventure.
He said: “His death was due to internal haemorrhage, a transected aorta and spine and alcohol ingestion.
“I am certain he would not have put himself at considerable risk if he was sober. He entirely misjudged the situation.”