Tragic Spalding pensioner (93) stepped in front of bus - inquest hears

Police at the scene of the accident in which Harold Fisher was fatally injured.
Police at the scene of the accident in which Harold Fisher was fatally injured.

A Spalding pensioner was 
fatally injured when he stepped off a pavement into the path of a single-decker bus on Winfrey Avenue.

Bus passenger Johanna Collins described Harold Fisher (93) as being “on a mission” because he looked straight ahead as he began crossing the road while the bus travelling at 10-15mph was only feet away to his right.

Tuesday’s inquest heard bus driver Anthony Barnes was slowing down ready to turn into the bus station entrance at the King’s Road end of Winfrey Avenue and steered to his right to try to avoid hitting Mr Fisher.

But he was hit by the front, nearside corner of the vehicle and police believe it is likely he then struck his head on the kerb, which caused his most serious injury.

In a statement to South Lincolnshire senior coroner Paul Cooper, Ms Collins said: “I don’t think the bus driver could have done any more – the man just stepped straight out without looking.”

There were four passengers on the bus at the time of the crash and a Lincolnshire Police accident investigation expert, PC Stewart Cooke, concluded they could have been injured if the driver had tried to brake severely.

The accident happened at 10.34am on Tuesday, August 23 after Mr Fisher visited Sainsbury’s and was on his way home to West Elloe Avenue.

He was airlifted to Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham, but died six days later from head and chest injuries. A report from consultant trauma surgeon Andrew Taylor described Mr Fisher’s injuries as “unsurvivable”.

Mr Cooper concluded Mr Fisher’s death was an accident.

He said Mr Fisher stepped out in front of the bus with little or no warning, giving Mr Barnes little or no time to react, and did not appear to have looked.

Mr Cooper read a statement from Mr Barnes, who didn’t see Mr Fisher until he stepped off the footpath and “was about 2ft away from the bus at that point”.

Mr Barnes remembered “someone on the bus saying quite loud ‘I can’t believe he’s done that’.”

Mr Cooper said Ms Collins had stated: “I thought he (Mr Fisher) would have stopped but he carried on without looking. He was on a mission, looking straight ahead as he walked.”

PC Cooke said it was likely Mr Fisher was in the shade of a tree at the time he emerged from the bus station car park – and just prior to that he may have “blended in” with the parked cars.

He said Mr Barnes managed to apply some steering to try to avoid the accident but any serious braking could have resulted in injury to passengers on the bus.