“Accident” Verdict on Conisbrough Miner

October 1963

South Yorkshire Times, October 26

“Accident.” Verdict on Conisbrough Miner

When a 50-year-old miner was/were fatally injured by a car in Old Road, Conisbrough, after spending the evening in a local public house, he appeared not to have been in full possession of his faculties, the Doncaster District Coroner, Mr K. Potter, told a Conisbrough inquest on Wednesday when a jury returned a verdict of “Accidental Death” on Harold Blakemore, of 18, Park Gate Avenue, Conisbrough

Mr John Park, a labourer, of Cedric Avenue, Conisbrough, had told the jury that as he was walking home along Old Road on Saturday night he had seen Mr Blakemore who had also been drinking at a pub on the opposite side of the road.

He gave the impression that he had just got to the other side after leaving a bus which had passed Mr Park. Mr Blakemore appeared to stumble over the payment edge and staggered back into the road, and he was hit by the car, which was travelling at moderate speed, Mr Park said

“In my opinion, the driver had no chance to avoid him,” commented Mr Park.

Colin David Epton (17), of Markham Avenue, Conisbrough, said he had seen Mr Blakemore crossing the road. He was swaying and staggering, and when he got halfway across the road he appeared to see the approaching car, and speeded up. He had not been able to see anything of the accident after that. He thought the car was travelling at a moderate speed.

Too Late.

The driver of the car a17 year old apprentice electricianof Gomersall Avenue, Conisbrough, told the Coroner that he was driving along Old Road, with dipped headlights at between 30 and 35 mph, after leaving a house on the Ellershaw estate with a friend, Miss Margaret Ridgeway, of Edlington Street, Denaby. He was aware that this was in excess of the speed limit. He said he had not seen Mr Blakemore until it was too late either to break or to swerve, even though his headlights showed the road 10 or 15 yards ahead. Mr Blakemore had appeared to be standing still in the roadway slightly to the passenger side of the car.

Dr Hugh Richman, pathologist, stated that death was due to insert cranial haemorrhage and cerebral contusion, as a result of fracture of the skull.

Summing up the coroner said that Mr Blakemore was apparently to some extent under the effects of drink. He really could not understand why the driver had not seen anything of the diseased before he did, as the road was very well lit. However, there were patches of shadow in between the streetlights where the accident occurred and it certainly would be most disconcerting for a driver to be faced with this situation, he thought.

The car was not travelling at a fast speed, and Mr Potter thought there was nothing pointing to criminal negligence on the driver’s part. It was a case of a man who had something to drink and in crossing the road was not into full possession of his faculties.

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