Coroner calls for action on A19 flooding blackspot following motorist's death

The Northern Echo: ROAD ACCIDENT: Alan Cowie was killed on January 28 on the A19, North Yorkshire. ROAD ACCIDENT: Alan Cowie was killed on January 28 on the A19, North Yorkshire.

A CORONER has called for improvements to be made to the A19 after a man lost control of his car after hitting standing water at a known flooding blackspot.

Alan Cowie, 55, an NHS director from Eaglescliffe, near Stockton, was killed when his Audi TT Quattro hit the water on the A19 - close to the A172 junction at the Cleveland Tontine - during a heavy downpour.

There were no witnesses to the accident but water covered both lanes of the dual carriageway at the time and visibility was poor, the Northallerton inquest heard.

In a statement, motorist Alan Watson said he had been prepared for the standing water - which he estimated was ten feet long and was up to one and a half inches deep - which he was he knew the area is susceptible to flooding in heavy rain.

Collision investigator Traffic Sergeant Steve Kirkbright told the inquest that Mr Cowie had left Bradford at around 6pm on Tuesday, January 28 and it is estimated that the accident happened at about 7pm.

The Audi was found overturned having crashed into a road sign by a highway patrol vehicle from Sir Roger McAlpine civil engineering, which maintains the road.

TS Kirkbright said: “The Audi left the road while rotating anti-clockwise, climbed the crash barrier and was launched into the air at 72mph.

“It rotated as it left the barrier and struck the verge, and then the supporting posts of a road sign.”

The car came to a rest on its near side.

Mr Cowie died from extensive internal, head, chest and abdominal injures.

TS Kirkbright said there was a need for collapsible sign posts and more modern crash barriers that prevent cars being launched on impact.

Neil Raper, a civil engineer for Sir Roger McAlpine, said he had been unaware of a flooding problem in the area.

He said: “We have flooding reports for standing water and this was not one of those hot spot areas.

“At the point between the right hand curve and left hand curve in the road, where water flows towards the central reservation and then goes back again, you get a flat spot where water does not drain as quickly as it would normally.”

Coroner Michael Oakley said he would be calling for the Highways Agency to investigate the section of road camber.

He said: “My conclusion is that Mr Cowie died as a result of an accident.

“I am going to send a section 28 report to Highways Agency and Department for Transport relating to water standing in the road at this location, to recommend steps are taken to do something about this.”

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