Cop to run 200km for struggling Brixton road accident charity on 125th anniversary of first fatal crash

By Alexandra Causer

Runners are being urged to help keep a spring in a senior police officer’s step as he runs 200km to raise money for a Brixton road safety charity.

Former Metropolitan Police officer Det Chief Supt Andy Cox, 43, is calling for Londoners to run, cycle or walk beside him as he completes an ambitious run for RoadPeace.

Poignantly his route starts in Crystal Palace, the location of the UK’s first ever fatal road collision, on May 15 and will continue across several counties throughout Global Road Safety Week.

Det Chief Supt Cox said: “Running such a long distance will be challenging and the support of those around me will make all the difference – so please do get in touch if you’d like to get involved.”

“RoadPeace does an amazing job to support seriously injured people and bereaved families, helping them come to terms with their loss and supporting them through such a terrible experience.

“They also play a key role in advocating for road safety change and in doing so seeking improvements across the system, to help prevent future collisions and to improve the experience and processes for those who sadly have been affected.”

From Crystal Palace he will run through Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Northamptonshire and Warwickshire, ending his gutsy feat in Leicestershire on May 23.

Det Chief Supt Cox has already raised £18,468 of his £25,000 target but is keen to boost funds for Roadpeace as much as possible through the event.

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Five people are killed and over 60 people suffer serious injuries on the UK’s roads every day, according to road safety charity RoadPeace.

The UK’s first fatal car accident victim died 125 years ago when there were just a handful of petrol cars on our roads.

Labourers’ wife Bridget Driscoll, 44, was in Crystal Palace on August 17 1896 when she was fatally hit by a car being driven by Arthur Edsell, an employee of the Anglo-French Motor Co.

At the inquest into Mrs Driscoll’s death, domestic servant Florence Ashmore gave evidence that the car had been moving ‘as fast as a good horse could gallop’.

The inquest also heard that Mrs Driscoll had hesitated in front of the car and seemed ‘bewildered’ before being hit.

It was reported that Mr Edsell had only been behind the wheel for three weeks at the time and had been given no instruction as to which side of the road he should stick to.

Mrs Driscoll’s death came just a few weeks after a Parliamentary act designed for the new and lighter petrol, electricity and steam-driven cars had raised the speed limit to 14mph.

The coroner involved in the inquest reportedly said that he hoped Mrs Driscoll’s death would be the last of this sort of accident.



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