Tragic string of bad luck
Date published: 07 March 2013
A MOTORIST killed on a notorious stretch of moorland road died as a result of “tragic coincidences”, a coroner found.
Derek Yates (46), from Oldham, was struck by a car on the A62 Huddersfield Road, Diggle, just moments after crashing his own vehicle.
He had collided with barbed-wire fencing and came off the road into a field bringing his Nissan Micra to a halt, the inquest heard.
Shortly after, the driver of a Ford Transit van, Thomas Hough, noticed his mirror had been smashed off, likely to have been caused by flying debris in the road, following Mr Yates’s loss of control earlier.
Mr Hough then reversed on the carriageway to obtain his broken mirror, when he saw Mr Yates on the adjacent side of the road — he had left his own battered vehicle in the field. Mr Yates was inches away from the van when he took a “step back” into the Huddersfield-bound side of the carriageway and was hit by a Volkswagen Passat at around noon, on November 2, 2011. Mr Hough said during yesterday’s hearing that he put his hands up and screamed at him to stop, but watched in “utter horror” as the car struck the pedestrian.
He said to the coroner: “If he would have carried on walking I would not be here today talking to you.”
Mr Yates — who was known as Dez — was pronounced dead on arrival at the Royal Oldham Hospital after being taken by air ambulance.
He suffered hypoglycaemic shock brought on by multiple injuries, his post mortem discovered.
A toxicologist found a “cocktail” of drugs in Mr Yates’s system including methadone, cocaine, heroin and diazepam.
The electrician, of St Stephen’s Street, Oldham, was receiving weekly sessions and prescriptions from the Oldham Drug Action Team to help with his drug issues, the inquest heard.
Coroner Mr Simon Nelson ruled a verdict of accidental death and said Mr Yates would have been “totally confused” from the first accident, which happened on a 50mph stretch near the Floating Light pub.
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