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You are not to blame for killing my husband, widow tells lorry driver

Tearful widow of Farnborough man Alexander Ridge attends inquest to tell lorry driver she does not blame him for collision that killed her husband

Alexander Ridge was killed in a collision with a lorry in September 2013

The wife of a motorist killed in a crash has told the lorry driver who collided with him it was not his fault.

Alexander Ridge, 40, of Union Street, Farnborough, was struck by a passing HGV as his car tried to exit a junction at Bullington Cross, near Winchester, on September 5 2013.

He was attempting to turn right onto the busy road and pulled out of the junction in his silver Dodge Nitro but collided with Matthew Hill, who was driving a DAF lorry pulling an Eddie Stobart trailer. Mr Ridge died instantly from head injuries.

Mr Hill, from Willenhall, had just finished a job in Andover and was heading eastbound along the A303 on his way to Totton, near Southampton, when he collided with Mr Ridge.

Another driver, Rodger Steadman from Ottershaw, was driving a 26-tonne rigid lorry behind Mr Ridge's 4x4.

Giving evidence at an inquest into Mr Ridge's death, at Southampton Coroner's Court, on Tuesday May 27, he said: "I was behind the gentleman in the 4x4 and we were waiting at the same junction.

"It is not the best of junctions to pull out of because it is deceiving and there was a queue of traffic down the slip road.

"I'm not sure if it was a lack of concentration, but when he pulled out the writing was on the wall.

"An accident was going to happen - the lorry was never going to stop in time.

"Even if the driver was in a sports car he would not have made it - never mind a 4x4."

Mr Hill said he slammed on his brakes as soon as he saw Mr Ridge's vehicle move, but it was too late.

Coroner Grahame Short recorded a verdict of accidental death and described Mr Ridge's injuries as 'terrible'.

He said: "Mr Ridge was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol and I have come to the conclusion this was a result of a human act.”

Mr Ridge's wife, Tammy, also attended the inquest and wept as she spoke to Mr Hill after the hearing had finished.

Speaking outside the courtroom she said: "Whenever you get into a car you are putting yourself in immediate danger because a vehicle is something which can kill you.

"The only reason I came here was to speak to Mr Hill - I wanted to make sure he knows we do not blame him for what happened.

"It was not his fault and because he drives for a living I did not want him to feel guilty and for his work to suffer.

"As a family we are satisfied with the inquest."

 
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