'Action needed' to prevent future tragedies after horror crash which claimed young man's life in Sheffield

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More people could die on Sheffield's roads if authorities do not better share information about potential hazards, a coroner has warned.

Sean Salvin died after losing control of his car and careering into a tree beside Ecclesfield Road, on a stretch known as Woolley Wood Bottom, in heavy rain on December 30, 2015.

Sean Salvin with his dad Craig

Sean Salvin with his dad Craig

An inquest into the 20-year-old's death heard how 'opportunities were missed' to act on warnings about the spot, which was prone to flooding, before the crash which claimed his life.

Now the coroner who heard the case has written to Sheffield Council, South Yorkshire Police, Yorkshire Water and streets maintenance contractor Amey, urging them to review the way they communicate with each other to prevent a future tragedy.

Christopher Dorries, senior coroner for South Yorkshire, said the inquest had uncovered a 'lack of coordination in the collection and collation of information between those authorities'.

"This meant the wider picture of an increasing problem at the location was never fully appreciated," he added.

Mr Dorries said there was a risk future deaths would occur unless action was taken to address a number of concerns.

He said there was an 'insufficient' system for sharing information to ensure each of the authorities was aware of potentially important incidents, and if national guidelines were being followed, as was suggested during the inquest, then those guidelines were 'deficient'.

What information was shared did not always fully identify the location, he added, and it should not have been difficult to work out that a number of incidents had occurred at the same spot prior to the fatal collision.

He also highlighted how the system in place did not require 'damage only' incidents - in which no one was injured - to be shared.

And he said one crash at the site just a few months before Mr Salvin's death was incorrectly recorded as 'damage only', despite someone having fractured his back.

Sheffield Coroners' Court heard in February how in December 2015 alone five people had been recorded as losing control of their vehicle on Woolley Wood Bottom due to flooding, with three of those incidents taking place within an hour of the fatal collision.

Mr Dorries said the risk assessment of the location, and the prioritisation of funding for major work, had also been a 'concern'.

"Whilst it is recognised that steps have been taken which are believed to remove or significantly reduce future risk at this location, the authorities may wish to consider continued close monitoring until they can be sure that this is the case," he added.

Mr Dorries has given the authorities until May 31 to describe how they plan to address the concerns raised, or, if no action is planned, why that is the case.

A spokesperson for Streets Ahead, the street renovation and maintenance programme run by Sheffield Council and Amey, said: "All parties are working hard to ensure that the current systems in place for the sharing of information about increasing risk and accident investigations on the city’s roads, caused by flooding, are streamlined and wherever possible, improved.

"Once the work is concluded, the council and the other parties involved will write to the coroner to confirm the actions that have been taken.”

A spokesman for Yorkshire Water said it would be providing a formal response to the coroner shortly and it would be 'inappropriate' to comment before then.

South Yorkshire Police said: "Police are working with the council and other parties to address the matters raised by the coroner.

Mr Salvin, who worked for his family's cleaning firm, had been returning home after playing football on the night he died.

His father Craig described the Blades fan as a 'hard-working', 'happy lad' who 'never did owt wrong'.