Father killed by motorist 'who'd been blinded when another driver flashed lights at him'

·3 min read
Dad was killed by motorist who'd been blinded when another driver flashed lights
David Keith Wrightson, 62, was killed as he walked back from the football with his son. (Reach)

A father was killed in front of his son after being hit by a car whose driver was temporarily blinded by a fellow motorist who flashed their lights to warn that he was in the road, an inquest has heard.

David Keith Wrightson, 62, was walking home after an afternoon with his son watching their local football club play when he lost his footing on a grassy verge and fell into the road.

His son tried to help him to his feet but couldn't, so instead tried to alert oncoming traffic by waving his arms.

A driver on the opposite side of the road saw him and flashed her lights to signal to an oncoming BMW that there was someone in the road, but an inquest heard that her actions may have temporarily blinded the driver, who then hit Wrightson.

Passers-by tried to help lift the car off the 62-year-old after the incident on 4 January, 2020, but a jack they were using broke and he was crushed by the vehicle.  

Police siren flashing blue lights at accident or crime scene
The crash happened on 4 January, 2020, an inquest heard. (Getty)

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The inquest in Northallerton heard that Wrightson and his son Luke were said to have enjoyed several pints before watching their local football team Scarborough play at the club’s Flamingo Land Stadium.

It was during the walk home from the match that he lost his footing and fell into the road.

As his son tried to warn motorists by waving his arms, the inquest heard that the well meaning efforts of one driver may have contributed to the crash. 

The Yorkshire Post reported that teacher Danielle Fardoe flashed her lights to warn of the impending danger which may have temporarily blinded Vignesh Chandrasekar, leading him to hit Wrightson. 

When questioned by the Wrightson family's lawyer Dominic Adamson, QC, as to why he had been unable to stop when a driver was flashing her lights to warn him and Luke Wrightson, who was wearing a light-coloured coat, was waving in the road, Chandrasekar told the hearing that the flashing lights had temporarily "blindsided" him.

He said it also occurred to him that he may have been the victim of a prank or a criminal attempt to cause a crash.

After Wrightson was hit by the car, an off-duty police officer at the scene immediately jumped in to help, reaching underneath the car to try and check for signs of life and to assess any injuries.

The officer, who was also a trained first aider, could not detect a pulse, or any obvious signs of breathing, the inquest was told. In his opinion, he believed the 62-year-old had already died.

Other members of the public arrived to help and began starting to lift the car using jacks but one of the jacks broke, causing the car to collapse and crushing him.

A report found Wrightson sustained multiple injuries, including a broken pelvis, liver lacerations and a severe chest injury, the latter of which is believed to have killed him.

The injuries were described as consistent with crushing and although the initial findings could not determine whether the accident or the subsequent collapse of the car had caused the fatal injury, the testimony given by the off duty police offer led the medical examiner to believe that he had died before the car collapse.

The driver of the car was breathalysed at the scene and found to have a blood alcohol of zero, the inquest heard.

The inquest is set to continue in December.

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