A MAN has died after a car crash on a notorious road in the Ribble Valley.

Lancashire police said the 44-year-old driver was involved in a collision with a dry stone wall near the entrance to Smithies Bridge Farm, Sawley.


The incident, on the A59 between Clitheroe and Gisburn, happened at around 12.25am yesterday.

The man, who was from Blackburn but is yet to be officially named, was pronounced dead at the scene. The road was closed for three-and-a-half hours while police investigated.

The impact of the driver’s black Fiat Punto caused a gate to career 100 yards down the road, the farm’s owners said.

Sgt Tracey Ward, of Lancashire’s road policing unit, said her team is keen to trace anyone who may have seen the car before the crash.

She said: “We are appealing for anyone with information about the collision to come forward and help us with our inquiries. This is a difficult time for the family of the deceased and specialist officers are supporting them.”

Lancashire Telegraph:

Calls for improvements to the rural stretch date back decades, and roundabouts have been installed to control traffic at some dangerous junctions.

County Cllr Albert Atkinson, who represents the Conservatives in Ribble Valley North East, said: “It needs looking at again. That road must have claimed about 15 lives in the past decade. We need some serious traffic safety measures to sort it once and for all. We cannot keep losing lives.”

Fire crews from the retained station in Clitheroe were also called to the scene.

A Lancashire Fire & Rescue Service spokesman said: “Two fire crews from Clitheroe attended a road traffic collision involving one vehicle on Gisburn Road in Sawley.

“One casualty was extricated from the vehicle using cutting and spreading equipment. Crews also used a ram and some lighting equipment at the scene. Sadly the casualty was confirmed dead at the scene.”

The crash happened on a 60mph stretch of the A59, just before a monument which marks the historic border with the West Riding of Yorkshire.

The farm’s owners declined to comment further out of respect for the dead man’s family.

There are road signs in both directions warning motorists of the bend ahead.

Anyone with information should contact police on 101, quoting log number 0029 of May 27.