Call for A1 work after teen dies in heavy rain

Tom Burrow
Tom Burrow

A CORONER has called for action to improve conditions on the A1 at Wentbridge after hearing a teenager who died when he lost control of his Land Rover may have aquaplaned.

Thomas Burrow, 19, of Pear Tree Farm, Wentbridge, was killed when his car hit a stationary HGV parked in a layby and rolled into a field on May 11, while he was driving in torrential rain.

He was thrown from the vehicle and was taken to Doncaster Royal Infirmary, where he died the following day of multiple injuries.

His friend Andrew Fradgley, who was travelling with Thomas when the accident happened, said the rain had been so heavy the windscreen wipers struggled to clear it.

The pair had been travelling to a nearby farm to collect a bale of hay for a horse belonging to Thomas’ sister Becky.

Mr Fradgley told a Wakefield inquest: “There was quite a bit of water on the road.

“When the car started aquaplaning the back end kicked out, Tom tried to get it back again and turned the steering wheel, but it didn’t do anything.

“We were approaching the layby where the collision happened and we were pointed towards the rear of the lorry and then the car went off the road.”

Stephen Green, principal collision investigator at West Yorkshire Police, said he couldn’t definitively say whether or not Thomas’ car had aquaplaned, but given the road conditions it was likely an “aquaplaning or near-aquaplaning event” had occurred.

Thomas’ father Simon Burrow told the hearing: “We use that section of road on a daily basis and it does stand water, particularly near the layby, and sometimes it is significant.”

Wakefield deputy coroner Melanie Williams said: “It is a complete tragedy someone as young as Tom lost his life when he had so much ahead of him.

“I do hope that if there’s water and it is known to stand on a busy stretch of road, the necessary authorities will look into that.”

She recorded a verdict of accidental death.

Former Silcoates School pupil Thomas was studying forest and woodland management at the University of Cumbria and was a keen sportsman.