A Wiltshire grandfather was killed while trying to cross a major A-road labelled “dangerous” by drivers, an inquest has heard.

Michael Beaven, of Braemor Road in Calne, died after a collision with a BMW on the A4 New Road at Studley Crossroads, Derry Hill, at around 6.30pm on February 7 last year.

The 80-year-old had been crossing the busy route to get to his son’s house in the village after getting off a bus from Chippenham, where he had spent his afternoon in The Bridge House pub.

He suffered blunt force trauma in the crash and, despite both members of the public and paramedics trying to give lifesaving first aid, died at the scene.

At an inquest into the incident on Wednesday, March 13, Area Coroner Ian Singleton recorded a conclusion of road traffic collision.

Derry Hill residents have previously called for change at the junction, which they believe is a crash blackspot, and the inquest heard that the road was “dangerous.”

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: The A4 Studley Crossroads where Michael diedThe A4 Studley Crossroads where Michael died (Image: Newsquest)

PC Michelle Jones, the Forensic Collision Investigator who led police enquiries into the incident, told the coroner that a lack of visibility was a key factor in the crash and that Katherine Flower, the driver of the BMW, would not have been able to avoid hitting Michael.

She added: “Michael Beaven would’ve been very difficult to see, and Mrs Flower would not have been able to stop prior to impact.

“In my opinion, she did not have enough time to take avoidant action and she simply did not see Mr Beaven.”

Police came to this conclusion after carrying out a full reconstruction of the crash, alongside forensic investigations.

PC Jones said the lack of clear visibility was due to the darkness of the area that evening, combined with the fact that Michael was wearing dark, non-reflective clothes and crossed in an unexpected part of the carriageway.

Michael had reportedly crossed the A-road directly opposite the bus stop, rather than at one of the two nearby pedestrian crossings.

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Michael BeavenMichael Beaven (Image: Wiltshire Police)

During the inquest, drivers who witnessed the aftermath of the crash raised concerns over visibility on the route due to the condition of the street lighting.

Martin Wernham, one of the members of the public who tried to help Michael, labelled the stretch of road “dangerous”.

He added: “The streetlights are not the best… they are not sufficient for the road.”

Mrs Flower’s husband John, a passenger at the time of the collision, said the pair did not see Michael until after the crash, and were only aware of him when they heard a bang and the car’s wing mirror folded in.

They stopped at the scene and Mrs Flower tested negative for both alcohol and drugs.

Mr Flower added that the 50mph speed limit, which police confirmed his wife did not exceed, was “not appropriate” for that stretch of road.

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Floral tributes left after the crashFloral tributes left after the crash (Image: Newsquest)

While Michael had been drinking that afternoon, CCTV footage prior to the incident showed he was steady on his feet and walking at a good pace.

Michael was born in Chippenham and lived in Wiltshire all his life, working for many years as a BP pipeline engineer.

In a witness statement read out during the inquest, his son Craig remembered him as a popular figure in the community who would go out of his way to help people.

In a statement made at the time of his death, Michael’s family said: “He was a father of three - Louise, Craig, Katie - and had two wonderful grandchildren, Tyler and Harvey.

“He was well known from earlier days drinking in the Liberal Club in Calne, and in his later years, spending his free time in the afternoon in Wetherspoons in Chippenham.

“He will be dearly missed by all who knew him.”