Weston Coyney driver William Collins 'killed by A50 roadworks'
A MOTORIST died in an A50 crash after two construction firms failed to inform drivers that the dual carriageway was shut for roadworks, a court heard.
William Collins ploughed into a stationary lorry after unwittingly driving into the closed section of the 70mph road.
The 49-year-old, of Weston Coyney, died in the crash near Uttoxeter at 4am on November 25, 2007.
Now construction firms Balfour Beatty Infrastructure and Enterprise (AOL) have gone on trial at Stafford Crown Court accused of failing to ensure the safety of motorists.
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The jury heard yesterday how Balfour Beatty and subcontractor Enterprise (AOL) had closed both lanes of the westbound carriageway, diverting traffic onto the A522, to carry out work on the central barrier of the A50.
But prosecutors told the jury that 'unsafe traffic management arrangements' had been put in place.
Bernard Thorogood, prosecuting for the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), told the court: "The way the signs and the cones were set out on the A50 and the A522 created real risks to motorists approaching that junction westbound in the direction of Stoke-on-Trent.
"The traffic was allowed to approach these traffic management arrangements at too great a speed.
"There was insufficient warning to motorists – who could be travelling as fast as 70mph – that the entire carriageway was shut.
"Also there was not enough warning that the diversion away from the A50 amounted to a sharp left-hand turn with very little room to adjust."
The court heard there had been no attempt to lower the speed limit leading up to the roadworks when a temporary traffic management order was applied for, nor were any 'road closed' signs displayed on the nearside of the road.
Mr Thorogood said the companies also failed to give proper supervision or guidance to employees setting out signs and cones.
Enterprise (AOL) denies failing to carry out a suitable risk assessment for the roadworks on the A50 on or before November 25, 2007. The firm also denies a charge of failing to ensure the safety of non-employees, including Mr Collins, on the same date.
Balfour Beatty denies a charge of failing to ensure the safety of non-employees, including Mr Collins, in relation to the roadworks on the A50.
The HSE does not have to prove that the companies were responsible for Mr Collins's death.
Mr Thorogood added: "The prosecution does not have to prove that the roadworks were the, or even a, cause of Mr Collins's death – only that they presented a material risk to drivers."
The trial continues.