Wittering airman killed crossing A1 after night with friends

Peterborough Town Hall on Bridge Street.
Peterborough Town Hall on Bridge Street.
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An RAF Wittering airman died after trying to cross the A1 following a night out with friends.

SAC Andrew Hallam, 23, was killed in the early hours of May 25 near the RAF base when he was struck by a BMW, being driven by Helen Cambridge.

SAC Hallam, who had previously served in Afghanistan, died at the scene.

At an inquest at Peterborough Town Hall yesterday, his friend Lance Corporal David Trotter paid tribute to his colleague.

He said: “He was a bubbly character when I met him, and he was a genuinely nice bloke to be around, and we became very good friends.”

LC Trotter said they would often go out for a beer in Stamford on Thursday nights, but had planned to go and watch the Champions League final on May 24 in the town.

He said: “He had been to see his family on the Thursday, and got back at 12.30pmish. We went to Morrisons to get some beer, chilled out in a mates room and then left to go into town at 6.30pm.”

The inquest heard the pair went to different bars from each other at various parts of the evening, and later that night they met outside a bank, where SAC Hallam said he was planning on going home soon.

LC Trotter said they always got a taxi back from Stamford, and he had never heard of anyone walking back to the base after a night out.

A post-mortem examination revealed SAC Hallam had a reading of 232mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood - nearly three times the legal drink drive limit of 80mg in 100ml of blood, which coroner David Hemming said would have had an effect on his cognitive functions.

The hearing was also told SAC Hallam, who was from Sutton-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire, had been wearing dark clothes, which would have made it difficult for motorists to see him.

It is not known how he arrived at the accident site, but it was suggested a taxi driver may have dropped him at the side of the A1. But despite a police investigation, involving speaking to every Stamford taxi firm and examining CCTV, there was no evidence to prove that was the case.

Mrs Cambridge was travelling with her husband Phillip from a trip to the Yorkshire Dales back to their home in Cambridge, when the crash happened at about 2am.

She said: “I saw something moving in front of the car. It was two white flashes on the road, and I thought it was white rats, or something like that. A split second before the collision, I realised it was a pedestrian. He was walking from right to left.”

The inquest heard there were no faults with the BMW, and Mrs Cambridge was driving below the speed limit when the collision happened.

Mr Cambridge got out of the car to give CPR, but after paramedics arrived SAC Hallam was pronounced dead at 2.58am.

Mr Hemming recorded a verdict of death due to a road traffic collision and after offering his condolences to those involved said: “It is deeply tragic a serviceman who had gone to serve in Afghanistan has lost his life in this way.”