Quest for answers as dad in road dies

The junction of York Road and Stanley Road, where Craig Cook was knocked over and killed. Picture: Liz Mockler D8297LM
The junction of York Road and Stanley Road, where Craig Cook was knocked over and killed. Picture: Liz Mockler D8297LM
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A MAN who was run over after stumbling into the road following a night out died as a result of an accident, an inquest concluded.

But family members of 30-year-old Craig Cook said they are still struggling to come to terms with how a driver failed to see him lying face down in the road.

It is believed Mr Cook stumbled into York Road dual carriageway in Sunnyfields after a night out drinking with friends.

Police accident experts say the prone figure of someone in dark clothing would not be conspicuous to motorists using the road late at night.

But Craig’s widow Hayley, and his parents, Peter and Jeanette Cook, said: “We are at a loss to understand how, in such clear conditions, and virtually beneath a lamppost casting light on the carriageway, anyone can have failed to see him lying in the road.”

The father-of-two boys, who was a welder, suffered multiple injuries when a Vauxhall Astra ran over him just after 11.15pm on February 4 last year - one of the stormiest nights of the year.

Michael Smith, the driver of the Astra, told a Doncaster inquest he did not see Mr Cook until it was too late to avoid him.

The driver of another car gave a statement saying she saw him, and moved into the other lane.

The Crown Prosecution Service considered police evidence and decided not to prosecute Mr Smith.

Police investigations established no other vehicle had hit Mr Cook, of Stonehill Rise, Scawthorpe, before the fatal impact.

Tests on samples from Mr Cook’s body showed “a high social level use of alcohol” which meant he would not have complete control of his actions.

Recording a verdict of accidental death, assistant coroner Teresa Searl said it was clear Mr Cook had been in drink and he had not consciously chosen to be in the road but came to be there by accident.

After the inquest the family said: “Craig was a loving husband, brother, father and son whose death at the age of 30 has been an unbearable loss for his family and for all who knew him.

“No-one could have anticipated that a quiet evening with friends could end in such tragic circumstances.”