Editor’s Comment: I make no excuses for asking questions

Roger Hawes

Roger Hawes


This week I received a complaint from the press office at Thames Valley Police over The Bucks Herald follow-up story on the double fatal accident near Wendover on March 4.

In our story, featured on the front page, we highlighted another motorist who had skidded on ice at the same spot just 75 minutes before the death crash.

This prompted the driver Martin Kendall to speak out and question why police did not make the road safe after his accident.

Consequently several other drivers who use that road have come forward to say they had near misses at the spot where the accidents happened and they too have expressed concerns the road was not closed, or at the very least, warning signs put out.

This week it has come to light that water has been flowing on to that road for many weeks and it may well have frozen causing an ice sheet.

Rightly so a major investigation is under way to find out what caused the fatal crash, so police and other authorities are refusing to comment until after the outcome of the investigation and an inquest.

However, it has become clear that something went wrong on that fateful morning. It is not right for this paper to apportion blame for such a terrible accident but when readers who use the same stretch of road contact us to complain about conditions and describe their own accidents and near misses, the least the paper can do is ask questions.

This week police are appealing once more for witnesses of the crash and now for anyone who was travelling the A413 around the time of the fatal crash to get in touch.

Whatever the outcome to this inquiry I would like to think that our authorities will at least focus their minds on what must be done in future to try and stop this happening again.

I went to college with a friend who was himself a victim of a ‘preventable’ accident after being a passenger in a car that hit a flood. He was thrown from the car and broke his neck causing life-changing injuries.

In that case police were sued along with the county council after it was proved a police patrol had passed by the flood and failed to put out warning signs. His case to the best of my knowledge was successful ending up many years later with substantial damages being paid out.

The Bucks Herald, rest assured will stay close to this story, it is part of our job.




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