VIDEO: 'Alarming' crash warning came THREE years before young driver died on flooded Sheffield road
An 'alarming' warning about the danger posed by flooding on a Sheffield road came THREE years before a young driver crashed to his death there, an inquest heard.
Sean Salvin was aged just 20 when he ploughed into a tree and died after losing control of his car on a waterlogged stretch of Ecclesfield Road, known as Woolley Wood Bottom, on December 30, 2015.
An inquest into his death heard today how a log kept by Sheffield Council's streets contractor Amey had warned about the potential for a serious collision at the spot almost exactly three years earlier, on December 20, 2012.
The record, which was read out at Sheffield Coroner's Court, states: "Drains blocked and road is filling up with water. As this is a 60mph zone, an accident is highly likely'.
Senior coroner Christopher Dorries described the safety alert as 'alarming'.
The court heard how there had been a serious collision at the site two years later in November 2014, which was blamed on flooding caused by a blocked gully that was later cleared.
But a council investigation following Mr Salvin's death found flooding on the road that night was down to water gushing from an overflowing drainage pipe, which was clogged by an exhaust system and building waste believed to have been dumped by fly-tippers.
James Fletcher, the council's flood water manager, told the court he had not been personally aware of any flood risk on the road before the fatal collision which prompted the probe.
That was despite the inquest having heard about a number of less serious collisions and safety warnings relating to that spot, particularly in the month leading up to Mr Salvin's death.
Mr Fletcher said Amey was responsible for logging and investigating individual incidents where necessary and only a fatal or serious collision would prompt a council investigation.
Mr Dorries asked whether the council officer had been unaware of the 'big picture' because details of the numerous incidents at the spot were never collated, to which he replied 'yes'.
He then asked whether Mr Fletcher would want to know about problems being identified on a 'de-restricted' section of road like Woolley Wood Bottom.
Mr Fletcher responded: "I would want to know there's a system in place to deal with the risk of flooding on the highway and I believe there was a system in place."
The hearing was previously told how another motorist had called police to complain about conditions on Woolley Wood Bottom just half an hour before Mr Salvin died, and had suggested the road should be closed since it was unsafe.
Sean's death prompted a petition signed by more than 2,500 people calling for safety improvements on the road, including a 40mph speed limit.
The inquest continues.
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