Coroner's call for hedge to be cut down after biker's collision death

A coroner has urged for an overgrown hedge to be cut down to prevent future tragedies happening on a section of main road where a motorcyclist grandfather died.

Michael Howard Williams
Michael Howard Williams

Michael Howard Williams, of Chirk, was riding his 750cc Honda motorbike at 50mph when he collided with an Audi emerging from a side road.

The crash happened as he entered the A525 near Bangor-on-Dee, north of Ellesmere, on March 13 last year.

Mr Williams, 56, was declared dead at the scene despite attempts to save him.

Senior coroner for north Wales, John Gittins, who led an inquest into Mr William's death, said he became concerned after hearing from witnesses, including the Audi driver, Amy McCarthy, about the poor visibility on the junction with Green Lane where the crash happened.

Mr Gittins said he visited the scene of the accident during his investigations before deciding to issue a prevention of future deaths report.

Such reports are made by coroners to address concerns that arise from inquests. Often they are directed at public bodies or health and social care organisations and can provide powerful leverage for change.

In it he wrote: "The evidence at inquest, supported by a site visit by me to the scene, indicated that the view for vehicles joining the A525 at this location from Green Lane is obstructed as to traffic approaching from the Wrexham direction as a result of the hedge which abuts the highway at this point.

"Unless action is taken to improve visibility or to alter the road layout, then there is an ongoing risk that further collisions will occur and that lives may be lost as a result."

The report was sent to both the occupier of Hollybush House, Green Lane, who owns the hedge, and Wrexham County Borough Council. Both parties have a duty to respond to the coroner by July 4. The council has been contacted for comment.

Mr Williams, of Upper Wharf, Chirk, the owner of a plant and machinery hire business, was described as a "caring and loving" father and grandfather and an experienced biker in tributes released by his family following the incident.

The inquest which ended on January 11 concluded Mr Williams had died as the result of a road traffic collision, his cause of death being recorded as severe chest and abdominal injuries.

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