Blackburn man died on M61 moments after being reported to police

Gary Wood in Manchester, just hours before his death

Gary Wood in Manchester, just hours before his death

First published in News

A PEDESTRIAN walking on the M61 was hit and killed by a car just minutes after he had been reported to police by a concerned motorist.

An inquest heard 30-year-old Gary Wood had been out with friends in Manchester on the evening of March 29 after being offered a last minute ticket to a Tinie Tempah concert.

But Mr Wood, who had been drinking heavily, decided to leave early and got into a taxi, asking driver Michael Tung to take him home to Blackburn.

Mr Wood paid him an initial deposit of £20 and said he would pay more later. But Mr Tung told the court that on the M61, when Mr Tung asked for the rest of the fare, Mr Wood said he had already paid and did not have any more money.

Coroner Alan Walsh was told Mr Tung dropped his passenger off at the northbound Rivington Services where he unsuccessfully asked a motorist for a lift, but was refused because they were not heading in his direction.

Petrol station cashier Ishak Patel told the court he gave Mr Wood the telephone number of a taxi firm after becoming concerned he was drunk and without transport.

But Mr Wood, a window fabricator from Begonia View, Lower Darwen, was next seen on the hard shoulder by driver Joanna Slinger as she drove north on the motorway.

She told the hearing in Bolton: “I was worried as soon as I saw him.”

When she did not pass a broken down car she stopped at the services and rang 999.

The inquest was told that within six minutes of making the call, police were dispatched to the scene and the motorway matrix signs were illuminated to warn drivers.

But before help could arrive it is thought Mr Wood crossed the carriageway to the southbound side of the unlit motorway and was hit by an Skoda Octavia. He was killed instantly.

Driver Philip Butler told the coroner he was heading home to Bury with his wife and 17-year-old daughter after seeing a play in Cumbria, and was travelling at between 70 and 80mph.

“Basically he was just stood in front of me,” said Mr Butler, adding that he had no time to avoid a collision.

Recording a conclusion that Mr Wood died as a result of a road traffic collision, Mr Walsh said: “The catalogue of tragic circumstances leading to Gary’s death could not have been foreseen.”

Speaking after the inquest Mr Wood’s family said they did not blame the driver for the collision.

“It was just a tragic accident,” said his mother, Christine Fielding, adding that Mr Wood, who had been due to go to her house the next day for Mothers Day, was ‘the best son you could have’.

Comments (17)

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1:19pm Wed 6 Aug 14

HarryBosch says...

Yet another death on our roads. This sort of thing should not be happening in this day and age. There are lessons to be learned here. Don't drink so much that you lose the power of all rational thought and never ever walk on a motorway.
My sincere condolences to Mr Wood's family and friends.
Yet another death on our roads. This sort of thing should not be happening in this day and age. There are lessons to be learned here. Don't drink so much that you lose the power of all rational thought and never ever walk on a motorway. My sincere condolences to Mr Wood's family and friends. HarryBosch
  • Score: 16

2:08pm Wed 6 Aug 14

Darwenlady37 says...

I wish people wouldn't comment on incidents they don't know about. I bet you have never been drunk and done something silly have you???? There were circumstances that led to Gary walking on the motorway he didn't just decide to go there because he was drunk.
I wish people wouldn't comment on incidents they don't know about. I bet you have never been drunk and done something silly have you???? There were circumstances that led to Gary walking on the motorway he didn't just decide to go there because he was drunk. Darwenlady37
  • Score: 0

4:44pm Wed 6 Aug 14

HarryBosch says...

Darwenlady37 wrote:
I wish people wouldn't comment on incidents they don't know about. I bet you have never been drunk and done something silly have you???? There were circumstances that led to Gary walking on the motorway he didn't just decide to go there because he was drunk.
I don't want to get into a big debate with you on this forum but I have seen first hand
the results of too many fatal accidents and I get so despondent. Pedestrians are prohibited from Britain's motorways for very good reasons. There is absolutely no reason for pedestrians to be on a motorway. Even if you breakdown, get off the carriageway and on to the banking. And I can only go off what is reported here.
[quote][p][bold]Darwenlady37[/bold] wrote: I wish people wouldn't comment on incidents they don't know about. I bet you have never been drunk and done something silly have you???? There were circumstances that led to Gary walking on the motorway he didn't just decide to go there because he was drunk.[/p][/quote]I don't want to get into a big debate with you on this forum but I have seen first hand the results of too many fatal accidents and I get so despondent. Pedestrians are prohibited from Britain's motorways for very good reasons. There is absolutely no reason for pedestrians to be on a motorway. Even if you breakdown, get off the carriageway and on to the banking. And I can only go off what is reported here. HarryBosch
  • Score: 13

6:47pm Wed 6 Aug 14

CLW says...

So sad...can't believe the taxi driver dropped him off at the services all for the sake of £20. Someone lost there live due to his selfishness...hope it haunts him!!
So sad...can't believe the taxi driver dropped him off at the services all for the sake of £20. Someone lost there live due to his selfishness...hope it haunts him!! CLW
  • Score: -1

7:33pm Wed 6 Aug 14

englishmuslim says...

ALCOHOL KILLS! Being heavily inebriated is no good for anyone at all. RIP fella!
ALCOHOL KILLS! Being heavily inebriated is no good for anyone at all. RIP fella! englishmuslim
  • Score: 4

7:34pm Wed 6 Aug 14

englishmuslim says...

CLW wrote:
So sad...can't believe the taxi driver dropped him off at the services all for the sake of £20. Someone lost there live due to his selfishness...hope it haunts him!!
Not the taxi driver's fault.
[quote][p][bold]CLW[/bold] wrote: So sad...can't believe the taxi driver dropped him off at the services all for the sake of £20. Someone lost there live due to his selfishness...hope it haunts him!![/p][/quote]Not the taxi driver's fault. englishmuslim
  • Score: 14

7:30am Thu 7 Aug 14

BuckoTheMoose says...

HarryBosch wrote:
Darwenlady37 wrote:
I wish people wouldn't comment on incidents they don't know about. I bet you have never been drunk and done something silly have you???? There were circumstances that led to Gary walking on the motorway he didn't just decide to go there because he was drunk.
I don't want to get into a big debate with you on this forum but I have seen first hand
the results of too many fatal accidents and I get so despondent. Pedestrians are prohibited from Britain's motorways for very good reasons. There is absolutely no reason for pedestrians to be on a motorway. Even if you breakdown, get off the carriageway and on to the banking. And I can only go off what is reported here.
There were indeed circumstances that led to him being on the motorway and they were all down to him drinking too much to be able to make rational choices.

A sad tale but no one elses fault and it doesn't seem anyone is looking to place blame apart from the chap above who thinks taxi drivers should provide free lifts.

And what on earth is a 'Tinie Tempah'?
[quote][p][bold]HarryBosch[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Darwenlady37[/bold] wrote: I wish people wouldn't comment on incidents they don't know about. I bet you have never been drunk and done something silly have you???? There were circumstances that led to Gary walking on the motorway he didn't just decide to go there because he was drunk.[/p][/quote]I don't want to get into a big debate with you on this forum but I have seen first hand the results of too many fatal accidents and I get so despondent. Pedestrians are prohibited from Britain's motorways for very good reasons. There is absolutely no reason for pedestrians to be on a motorway. Even if you breakdown, get off the carriageway and on to the banking. And I can only go off what is reported here.[/p][/quote]There were indeed circumstances that led to him being on the motorway and they were all down to him drinking too much to be able to make rational choices. A sad tale but no one elses fault and it doesn't seem anyone is looking to place blame apart from the chap above who thinks taxi drivers should provide free lifts. And what on earth is a 'Tinie Tempah'? BuckoTheMoose
  • Score: 2

8:20am Thu 7 Aug 14

Something Vague says...

Absolutely nobodys fault but his own.

No reason for people to be walking on the motorway and even less reason to cross the carriageway!
Absolutely nobodys fault but his own. No reason for people to be walking on the motorway and even less reason to cross the carriageway! Something Vague
  • Score: 4

10:24am Thu 7 Aug 14

Darwenlady37 says...

There are lots of facts missing from this report, like the fact that the taxi driver drove off with Gary's wallet in the back of his cab and he didn't even hand it in until the police appealed for him to come forward or the fact that his sat nav had taken him down the M61 to come to Blackburn instead of the A666 and he had started demanding £80.00 or the fact that Gary's phone wasn't working so he was unable to call anybody. I am not blaming anybody for what happened but for it's upsetting for Gary's family and close friends to hear people who don't know the facts commenting on him being drunk on the motorway. Why on earth would you drop somebody off at the services???????? Why not pull off on the junction before???? The taxi driver is not solely to blame but his actions definitely contributed to Gary's death.
There are lots of facts missing from this report, like the fact that the taxi driver drove off with Gary's wallet in the back of his cab and he didn't even hand it in until the police appealed for him to come forward or the fact that his sat nav had taken him down the M61 to come to Blackburn instead of the A666 and he had started demanding £80.00 or the fact that Gary's phone wasn't working so he was unable to call anybody. I am not blaming anybody for what happened but for it's upsetting for Gary's family and close friends to hear people who don't know the facts commenting on him being drunk on the motorway. Why on earth would you drop somebody off at the services???????? Why not pull off on the junction before???? The taxi driver is not solely to blame but his actions definitely contributed to Gary's death. Darwenlady37
  • Score: 18

3:07pm Thu 7 Aug 14

Rachybee says...

That taxi driver should not of dropped that guy off like that, especially being so drunk, it's wrong. Could of dropped him at home and told him he would collect the money from his house or something and maybe kept hold of his phone. This guy shouldn't of lost his life over the taxi man thinking of money when he wasn't in the correct frame of mind. RIP
That taxi driver should not of dropped that guy off like that, especially being so drunk, it's wrong. Could of dropped him at home and told him he would collect the money from his house or something and maybe kept hold of his phone. This guy shouldn't of lost his life over the taxi man thinking of money when he wasn't in the correct frame of mind. RIP Rachybee
  • Score: 8

3:12pm Thu 7 Aug 14

Rachybee says...

BuckoTheMoose wrote:
HarryBosch wrote:
Darwenlady37 wrote:
I wish people wouldn't comment on incidents they don't know about. I bet you have never been drunk and done something silly have you???? There were circumstances that led to Gary walking on the motorway he didn't just decide to go there because he was drunk.
I don't want to get into a big debate with you on this forum but I have seen first hand
the results of too many fatal accidents and I get so despondent. Pedestrians are prohibited from Britain's motorways for very good reasons. There is absolutely no reason for pedestrians to be on a motorway. Even if you breakdown, get off the carriageway and on to the banking. And I can only go off what is reported here.
There were indeed circumstances that led to him being on the motorway and they were all down to him drinking too much to be able to make rational choices.

A sad tale but no one elses fault and it doesn't seem anyone is looking to place blame apart from the chap above who thinks taxi drivers should provide free lifts.

And what on earth is a 'Tinie Tempah'?
People drink... so ur saying it's right he's lost his life cause he was drinking? The safety of people should come first before money... imagine how his family will be feeling... If only he had took him home he would of been alive. Taxi drivers shouldn't be allowed to just drop extremely drunk people off like that... He should of asked him for the taxi fare before he got in the taxi nog half way home!
[quote][p][bold]BuckoTheMoose[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]HarryBosch[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Darwenlady37[/bold] wrote: I wish people wouldn't comment on incidents they don't know about. I bet you have never been drunk and done something silly have you???? There were circumstances that led to Gary walking on the motorway he didn't just decide to go there because he was drunk.[/p][/quote]I don't want to get into a big debate with you on this forum but I have seen first hand the results of too many fatal accidents and I get so despondent. Pedestrians are prohibited from Britain's motorways for very good reasons. There is absolutely no reason for pedestrians to be on a motorway. Even if you breakdown, get off the carriageway and on to the banking. And I can only go off what is reported here.[/p][/quote]There were indeed circumstances that led to him being on the motorway and they were all down to him drinking too much to be able to make rational choices. A sad tale but no one elses fault and it doesn't seem anyone is looking to place blame apart from the chap above who thinks taxi drivers should provide free lifts. And what on earth is a 'Tinie Tempah'?[/p][/quote]People drink... so ur saying it's right he's lost his life cause he was drinking? The safety of people should come first before money... imagine how his family will be feeling... If only he had took him home he would of been alive. Taxi drivers shouldn't be allowed to just drop extremely drunk people off like that... He should of asked him for the taxi fare before he got in the taxi nog half way home! Rachybee
  • Score: 1

4:47pm Thu 7 Aug 14

luceymas says...

Darwenlady37 wrote:
There are lots of facts missing from this report, like the fact that the taxi driver drove off with Gary's wallet in the back of his cab and he didn't even hand it in until the police appealed for him to come forward or the fact that his sat nav had taken him down the M61 to come to Blackburn instead of the A666 and he had started demanding £80.00 or the fact that Gary's phone wasn't working so he was unable to call anybody. I am not blaming anybody for what happened but for it's upsetting for Gary's family and close friends to hear people who don't know the facts commenting on him being drunk on the motorway. Why on earth would you drop somebody off at the services???????? Why not pull off on the junction before???? The taxi driver is not solely to blame but his actions definitely contributed to Gary's death.
I understand the rest of your comment but "Why not pull off the junction before?????" Gary asked to come off at the services.
[quote][p][bold]Darwenlady37[/bold] wrote: There are lots of facts missing from this report, like the fact that the taxi driver drove off with Gary's wallet in the back of his cab and he didn't even hand it in until the police appealed for him to come forward or the fact that his sat nav had taken him down the M61 to come to Blackburn instead of the A666 and he had started demanding £80.00 or the fact that Gary's phone wasn't working so he was unable to call anybody. I am not blaming anybody for what happened but for it's upsetting for Gary's family and close friends to hear people who don't know the facts commenting on him being drunk on the motorway. Why on earth would you drop somebody off at the services???????? Why not pull off on the junction before???? The taxi driver is not solely to blame but his actions definitely contributed to Gary's death.[/p][/quote]I understand the rest of your comment but "Why not pull off the junction before?????" Gary asked to come off at the services. luceymas
  • Score: -1

8:27pm Thu 7 Aug 14

roversok says...

Were did the taxi driver go after he stopped at the services?
Down to junction 8 Chorley, you cannot leave the motorway from Euro garages services.
Were did the taxi driver go after he stopped at the services? Down to junction 8 Chorley, you cannot leave the motorway from Euro garages services. roversok
  • Score: 3

12:33pm Fri 8 Aug 14

HarryBosch says...

Some people on here looking for someone to blame. This is undoubtedly a tragedy, yes. But you absolutely cannot blame the taxi driver. I just don't understand some people these days. What makes it acceptable to get so drunk that you cannot look after yourself and expect other people take on that responsibility! There was only one person to blame here and you are not doing his memory any favours by trying to lay the blame on anybody else.
Some people on here looking for someone to blame. This is undoubtedly a tragedy, yes. But you absolutely cannot blame the taxi driver. I just don't understand some people these days. What makes it acceptable to get so drunk that you cannot look after yourself and expect other people take on that responsibility! There was only one person to blame here and you are not doing his memory any favours by trying to lay the blame on anybody else. HarryBosch
  • Score: 5

11:01pm Sun 10 Aug 14

The Seagull has landed says...

CLW wrote:
So sad...can't believe the taxi driver dropped him off at the services all for the sake of £20. Someone lost there live due to his selfishness...hope it haunts him!!
What a completely idiotic comment.
[quote][p][bold]CLW[/bold] wrote: So sad...can't believe the taxi driver dropped him off at the services all for the sake of £20. Someone lost there live due to his selfishness...hope it haunts him!![/p][/quote]What a completely idiotic comment. The Seagull has landed
  • Score: 0

11:41am Wed 13 Aug 14

Fspiders says...

Its worrying that it took police 6 minutes to respond to the call never mind the actual time it took them to arrive at the scene. They were probably busy in Sabden woods at the time, guess they have priorities. RIP.
Its worrying that it took police 6 minutes to respond to the call never mind the actual time it took them to arrive at the scene. They were probably busy in Sabden woods at the time, guess they have priorities. RIP. Fspiders
  • Score: 0

10:01am Thu 14 Aug 14

KYMER says...

what happened to the good samaritan.jesus 20 pound would have covered the petrol.the taxi driver should hold his head in shame.
what happened to the good samaritan.jesus 20 pound would have covered the petrol.the taxi driver should hold his head in shame. KYMER
  • Score: -1

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