Widow's public protest over husband's "smart motorway" death on M1

Widow's public protest over husband's "smart motorway" death on M1

By Michael Upton | 02/03/2021

Widow's public protest over husband's 'smart motorway' death on M1
Claire and Jason Mercer

ROAD safety campaigner Claire Mercer will hold a public protest today to call for roads body Highways England to be prosecuted over her late husband’s death.

Claire (46) wants South Yorkshire Police to pursue criminal charges against the motorways operator for the death of her husband Jason, who died in 2019 after his car was hit by a lorry while stopped on the inside lane of the M1 “smart motorway” near Meadowhall.

She will mark what would have been Jason’s 46th birthday today by visiting the police’s Carbrook base with a billboard truck highlighting her call for someone to be held accountable.

The vehicle-mounted billboard will feature a giant photo of Jason and told how he should have been celebrating turning 46.

South Yorkshire Police said today that it was investigating but was awaiting the evidence from the inquest on Jason and Mr Murgeanu. The death of another motorist, Nardis Begum, will also be included in their enquiries.

Claire wants the hard shoulder to be reinstated on the M1 and the controversial all-lane running system scrapped.

Last month, a coroner ruled the lack of a hard shoulder contributed to the deaths of Jason (44) and Alexandru Murgeanu (22) after they failed to reach an emergency refuge area on the M1.

South Yorkshire Police said it was investigating but was awaiting the evidence from the inquest on Jason and Mr Murgeanu. The death of another motorist, Nardis Begum, will also be included in their enquiries.

A spokeswoman said: “As previously reported, South Yorkshire Police is in the process of obtaining all evidence the coroners had reference to at the inquests into the deaths of Mr Jason Mercer, Mr Alexandru Murgeanu and Mrs Nargis Begum.

“A Senior Investigating Officer has been assigned to this matter, and will be overseeing the review of all the materials obtained.

“At this time, we have not yet received the evidence from Mr Mercer and Mr Murgeanu’s inquest.

“This activity will allow SYP to ascertain whether a crime has been committed, with a view to the possible commencement of criminal proceedings.

“SYP remains in close consultation with the Health and Safety Executive and the Crown Prosecution Services.”




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