Family in call for lighting on Torquay street where Barry Chilver died
THE family of a young DJ killed in a collision with a taxi has appealed to Torbay Council for street lighting and a footpath on the stretch of road where he died.
An inquest this week heard that 26-year-old Barry Chilver died instantaneously from multiple injuries in the early hours crash in Torquay in October, 2011.
After recording a verdict of accidental death, coroner Ian Arrow expressed his condolences to the family and added that he wanted the fatality to act as a double warning.
After hearing forensic evidence that both the taxi driver and the casualty were partly responsible, the coroner said: "This should act as a warning to the public about the proper use of headlights and about the wearing of dark clothing when walking at night in a dark lane and I ask that these two points are aired by the press."
Last October, taxi driver Brian Carpenter was convicted for failing to stop after the accident in Marldon Road, Shiphay.
He was given a four-month suspended jail term with 150 hours of community service.
After the inquest, Barry's parents Baz and Jill Chilver, whose family home is in nearby Avon Road, said: "Now that the inquest is over I would now hope that it draws attention to a few things, as the coroner said.
"That part of the road is used by people from Shiphay all the time and I would like Torbay Council to look at if they can put a footpath and lights in."
Barry died just before 3am on Saturday, October 29, 2011.
The inquest heard from the doorman at JD's Bar, David Pallister, who had asked him to leave the Torquay pub at just before 2am.
He said: "Barry seemed fine and happy but very, very drunk."
A pathologist testified that Barry had a high blood-alcohol level of 289 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood, which is almost three times the legal driving limit.
Taxi driver Mr Carpenter, driving a silver Renault Trafic nine-seater minibus at the time of the crash, described how he was talking on the telephone through a blue-tooth headset when it happened.
He cried as he told the inquest that he was on dipped headlights when he suddenly saw a pair of blue jeans in the road in front of him: "What I saw was two legs in the road and I had no time to stop.
"I pulled hard to the right to try to avoid the man but I hit the person hard."
His best friend Jackie Nickels, who he was on the phone to at the time, told police: "He said something like 'My God. I've hit someone. Phone the police. I was doing 40. He will be dead'."
Police accident investigator Mike Lackey told how a mannequin dressed in Barry's clothing was used by forensic investigators for a visibility study.
MPC Lakey said: "Barry was heavily intoxicated and was probably standing one meter into the carriageway.
"Even if the casualty had been wearing lighter clothing it was unlikely that the driver could have avoided the collision. However, his reaction time would have been improved had he not been on the phone and had he been on main beam.
"Neither party was solely to blame, and both can be considered at fault."
Home Office forensic pathologist Dr Russell Delaney gave evidence that Barry suffered instantaneous, unsurvivable, severe internal chest and abdominal injuries, multiple injuries to his limbs and face and bleeding in the brain.
Ms Nickels said after the hearing: "I think it is important that the more important message from this should be about people being intoxicated and keeping themselves alert about what is going on around them."