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Cricket umpire’s ‘tragic accident’
A CRICKET umpire who pulled out of a junction and was hit by a speeding 4x4 died as the result of a “tragic accident”, a coroner has ruled.
Richard Hogben, 51, was killed when his Vauxhall Corsa was involved in a collision with a Range Rover Sport on the B430 near Weston-on-the-Green.
An inquest at Oxford Coroner’s Court on Tuesday heard Range Rover driver Mark Nolan was travelling at 67mph in the 40mph zone, but Mr Hogben should not have pulled out in front of him.
Divorced Mr Hogben, of Tetbury Drive, Witney, worked as a business development director at Amadeus Software Ltd and was probably on his way home from Bicester train station where he had caught the train to London for work that day, the inquest heard.
The keen Chelsea FC fan played for Wembley Cricket Club and was later a member of the Middlesex Association of Cricket Officials before umpiring in the Home Counties Premier League.
Last year the father-of-three officiated in the televised final of the National Cockspur Cup Twenty20 and was set to officiate in the Minor Counties Championship this year.
Mr Nolan, 51, was travelling with his partner Sarah Facey from Middleton Stoney to Islip for dinner with friends when the accident occurred at about 7.20pm on January 24.
He told police he was travelling within the speed limit but crash investigator Pc Simon Bishop said data taken from the scene showed his car was doing 67mph at the moment of impact.
Asked by coroner Darren Salter to describe what happened immediately prior to the crash, Mr Nolan exercised his right not answer.
Asked what speed he was going, he replied: “I would rather not answer that question.”
Mr Nolan is due at Banbury Magistrates’ Court on July 24 to face a speeding a charge.
No other charges have been brought against him.
A police and county council report stated the junction, at Akeman Street and Green Lane, was the scene of three serious crashes in the three years up to September 2011.
Road markings and signs were improved in 2008 as a response to its perceived level of danger, the inquest heard.
Crash investigator Pc Bishop said the relatively straight line from Akeman Street towards Green Lane “may mask the junction” for drivers heading in the same direction as Mr Hogben, but added: “This effect would be reduced in darkness.”
He said Mr Nolan would have had “very little time” to react to Mr Hogben’s Corsa pulling out.
Pc Bishop said Mr Nolan’s speed was a “significant factor in this collision” but added: “The main instigation would be due to the driver of the Corsa failing to correctly negotiate the junction.”
Coroner Mr Salter, who recorded a verdict of accidental death, stated “it is not for the coroner’s court to determine issues of blame or responsibility”.