The grieving parents of ‘gentle giant’ Sean Salvin say his life could have been saved – after it was revealed police were warned the road his car crashed on was dangerously flooded.
Devastated Craig and Brenda Salvin’s 20-year-old son was driving on Ecclesfield Road, Woolley Wood Bottom, in heavy rain when he lost control of his car and ploughed into a tree.
Now it has been revealed police received two calls almost half an hour before the fatal crash warning the road was flooded.
Roads Policing Inspector Craig Clifton said: “Two calls had been received through the 101 number shortly after 10pm the same night, advising of excessive water on a section of Ecclesfield Road.
The information was passsed the Sheffeild City Council who are resposible for road closures.
“Following procedure, the information was immediately passed through to the Local Authority’s Emergency Team to determine whether action needed to be taken on the highway.
“An investigation into the collision is ongoing and a file is being prepared for the coroner.”
Heartbroken Brenda and Craig believe the road should have been closed to motorists due to heavy flooding before their son drove along it at 10.30pm on Wednesday, December 30.
Sean’s car is believed to have aquaplaned after hitting flood water.
On Sunday – four days after the accident – South Yorkshire Police closed the road when more torrential rain caused further flooding.
Craig said: “I’m so angry that it didn’t get shut off that day. Someone should have acted but they didn’t. It would have saved my son’s life.
“He has travelled up and down that road every day for two years and he wasn’t speeding. He hit a foot and a half of water.
“There were fountains coming out the drains, he just spun out.”
He added: “I can’t grieve because I’m so mad that the road wasn’t closed that day. We’ve lost a son and we need answers.”
Mum Brenda revealed she knew something was wrong because she had not heard from her son when he was due to travel back from a friend’s house.
His heartbroken parents discovered on social media a red Volkswagen Golf, Sean’s car, had been involved in a crash.
They rushed to the scene only to be told their son had died.
Brenda said: “I hadn’t heard from him so I knew something was wrong. He always rings and texts us to say when he will be home because he knew I always panic but I didn’t get anything from him. I just can’t get my head around it.”
She is now campaigning for safety measures to be put in place at the spot where Sean died, known locally to be notoriously bad for flooding.
“The road is dark, it’s dismal, you just can’t see the water on the road. There is new lighting but it isn’t adequate,” said Brenda.
“It needs proper drainage and signage to warn drivers.
She added there are often leaves on the road making it slippy.
An online petition, signed by Sean’s family and friends, has now been launched, calling for Sheffield Council to carry out safety improvements and reduce the speed limit from 60mph to 40mph.
The family are also calling for anyone who witnessed Sean’s crash or who may have had a narrow escape themselves to come forward.
Brenda said: “People need to know that it does flood and they need to be careful. It hits you quickly just where the woods are and then there’s no where for you to go. That’s what happened to Sean.
“It never used to get like this, something needs to be done you can’t scrimp and save on peoples safety.”
The family were a tight-knit unit and worked together at their own cleaning company.
Brenda and Sean said the house is now too quiet after the loss of football-mad Sean who was a ‘gentle giant’.
Inspector Clifton said: “The loss of a young life is always a tragedy, however at this time of year it can be felt even more so and our thoughts are with Mr Salvin’s family.
“We have provided support and assistance to the family following the incident and we will continue to do so in any way we can to help them through this incredibly difficult time.”
n Anyone with information should call 101 quoting incident number 1092 of 30 December 2015