Danger fears after woman killed by delivery lorry in Jersey Farm, St Albans

Police on the scene of the accident

Police on the scene of the accident - Credit: Archant

The tragic death of an elderly woman on Monday after being struck by a delivery lorry has sparked fresh concerns about the servicing of a Tesco Express store in a residential area.

The 78-year-old woman, who has not been named but lived locally and was using a walking frame, died at the scene of the accident in Twyford Road, Jersey Farm, shortly before 11am when a Tesco lorry was exiting the store’s service yard.

The accident was witnessed by shocked onlookers who saw ambulance personnel unsuccessfully carry out CPR. An air ambulance was called to the scene but the victim had already died.

Nearby resident Karen Murphy has been vociferous in her concerns about the servicing of the store in St Brelade’s Place and saw the accident unfold.

She said this week that although Jersey Farm was a residential area, the store was serviced by HGVs which blocked surrounding roads and struggled to get into or turn around in the service yard. She maintained that they were the same lorries that serviced the Tesco superstore in Hatfield and were unsuitable for residential roads.

On Monday, when the accident happened, she said a lorry had reversed into the service yard access and was parked across the pavement which meant pedestrians had to walk in front of it. She went on: “Whether you are eight or 80, you shouldn’t have to walk into the road to continue your journey.

“No lorry should be so big that it overhangs the pavement. Children walk up to Sandringham School that way and deliveries start at 8am.”

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Warning that there would be more such accidents, Karen said she had raised the issue with Tesco numerous times but claimed they ‘paid lip service and then go back to normal’.

In an email to Tesco shortly after the accident she said she had lost count of the times she had made the company aware of the dangers of using huge lorries to deliver to a highly residential area with such a restricted entrance.

She added: “I have even used the words ‘it was an accident waiting to happen’ - sadly this morning that accident did happen.”

Karen contacted Tesco again yesterday (Wednesday), after a Tesco lorry reversed into the service bay without any member of staff guiding them in. She said it demonstrated that despite a fatality, ‘absolutely nothing changes’.

Ward councillor Salih Gaygusuz spoke out against Tesco when, in 2011, they applied for planning permission to extend the hours of delivery to the Jersey Farm store.

The council ruled that it was only permissable for newspaper deliveries to arrive at the earlier time and had to be made to the front door by van. The planning permission specifically prohibited HGV deliveries in the earlier delivery slot.

Cllr Gaygusuz said this week: “It is a location where there are blind spots during manoeuvring. We knew it was going to cause problems and the size of the lorries was an issue. Sadly it has now taken a life.”

Cllr Gaygusuz added: “The sheer size of the vehicle created this accident.”

A spokesperson for Tesco said this week: “We were saddened to hear of this terrible news. We are working closely with the police at this difficult time, and are carrying out a full investigation.”

PC Shona Gillen, investigating, said police were appealing to anyone in the area at the time, witnessed the collision or saw the victim prior to the incident to contact them as soon as possible.

She added: “We are especially interested in making contact with a member of the public who was in a vehicle close to the collision who may have seen what happened. We are urging them to contact us as they may have vital information that could help our investigation.”

Witnesses should contact the non-emergency number 101.