South West Wales

Criticism over police officer's Swansea Kingsway death

Sgt Louise Lucas Image copyright South Wales Police/Twitter
Image caption Sgt Louise Lucas was based at Llanishen police station in Cardiff

A coroner has criticised Swansea council for missed opportunities to make changes to a road where a police officer was hit and killed by a bus.

Sgt Louise Lucas, 41, was struck on the city's Kingsway in March 2015.

Acting senior coroner Colin Phillips gave a narrative conclusion in which he recorded her death as being due to a road traffic collision.

He said the council did not respond in a timely way to concerns raised by First Cymru.

After the inquest, Sgt Lucas's family thanked the coroner and described her as a "a beautiful, outgoing, hardworking and loving wife and mum".

The hearing was told Sgt Lucas "did not turn and look what was coming" before stepping into the path of the X11 bus.

The mother-of-three was airlifted to the city's Morriston Hospital where she later died.

Her eight-year-old daughter, who was out shopping with her mother, suffered minor injuries.

Image copyright South Wales Police
Image caption Daniel Foss was another pedestrian to die on Swansea's Kingsway

Independent road safety expert Mark Steventon previously told the inquest: "The highway's unconventional configuration was a contributing factor.

"It is my opinion that the most likely explanation is that [Sgt Lucas] was engrossed in a conversation and momentarily forgot that traffic travelled both ways."

Mr Phillips also said the council did not give sufficient weight to concerns raised by road users driving particularly dangerous vehicles or the need for guard rails which was "causing pedestrians to step out without looking in both directions".

Mr Steventon said a temporary guard railing - introduced along the central reservation following Sgt Lucas' death - has been "effective in inhibiting crossing movements".

Sgt Lucas's death followed that of Daniel Foss, 37, who was killed after being hit by a coach on Kingsway in September 2013.

Mr Phillips added: "In the Foss inquest I found that the Kingsway road system was counter intuitive and can be confusing to a visitor unfamiliar with the road layout.

"Even those persons familiar with the Metro scheme, if in a hurry or distracted, can make a simple and fatal error in judgement."

Paying tribute to Sgt Lucas, her family, in a statement issued via police, said: "We would like to thank the coroner for his careful and thorough investigation for Louise's death, those members of the public who gave evidence and tried to help Louise at the scene, and our friends and family members who continue to offer their love and support and help to keep Louise's memory alive.

"We hope that this process coming to an end will allow us, and in particular Louise's wonderful children, to move forward, but we have lost a beautiful, outgoing, hardworking and loving wife and mum, and nothing can bring her back.

"We are glad that the council is reviewing the road layout on the Kingsway and that safety measures put in place since her death should prevent this kind of tragedy ever happening again."

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