Barnsley lorry crash girl ‘will never be forgotten’ say heartbroken family as inquest rules death accidental

The family of a 14-year-old girl who died after a crash in Barnsley have said she will ‘never be forgotten’.

Thursday, 4th April 2019, 5:45 pm
Updated Friday, 5th April 2019, 2:10 pm

Paige Bateman died on Friday, April 27 last year after she stepped out onto a pedestrian crossing on the A635 Doncaster Road in Barnsley and was hit by a lorry.

At an inquest into Paige’s death today at Sheffield Coroners’ Court, Assistant Coroner Abigail Combes ruled her death was accidental.

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Paige Bateman.

Ms Combes said Paige stepped out into the pedestrian crossing without looking when it was not safe to do so.

There was nothing the driver could have done to avoid the collision, she added, but said that ‘visibly misleading cues’ at the crossing may have contributed to Paige’s decision to cross.

The court heard how the crossing in question - at the junction of Doncaster Road and the Heathfields development - was ‘staggered’, with two sets of lights which operated independently.

This meant that traffic was flowing on Paige’s side of the road but stopped on the other, and a portion of the green man signal on the far side could still be seen by near side pedestrians.

“I am not able to say which if any of these cues Paige saw or had regard to when she crossed the road so I can’t say that the layout contributed to Paige’s death and to do so would be unacceptable speculation on my part,” said Ms Combes.

But she said that because there was ‘at least the suggestion’ that the road layout may have played a role on Paige’s death, she would write to Barnsley District Council to ask them to improve the crossing sooner than planned.

Ms Combes finished by offering her sincere condolences to Paige’s extended family, who all attended the hearing, as well as her sisters Nina and Emily, who were with her at the time of the collision but did not attend court.

Speaking to the Star after the hearing, Paige’s grandad Mick Bateman, revealed that since the tragedy, her family had moved house so they could be nearer to where she is laid to rest.

He said: “Paige is remembered every minute of every day and she will never be forgotten.

“We would like to thank the witnesses who came forward to help with the investigation and also the police officers that attended and the paramedics even though they weren’t able to do anything for her.

“The fact the coroner has asked for the crossing to be improved hopefully means that something positive will come from this.”

In the immediate aftermath of the tragedy, Paige’s family paid tribute to her as ‘a bright, caring and beautiful girl’ who had her heart set on one day becoming a midwife alongside her twin sister Nina.

They said they were ‘absolutely devastated’ by what had happened and words could not describe how much Paige meant to all her family and friends.

An online crowdfunding page set up to pay for her funeral in the days after her death raised £5,780.