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The widow of a man killed on a ‘smart’ highway is going to boycott her husband’s inquest, claiming it will.
a whitewash. Sally Jacobs said the hearing into the death of Derek, 83, who died following a breakdown on the M1 near Sheffield, has been weakened by National Highways.

Mr Jacobs was killed in 2019 after his van had a blowout tire and he had to stop on the inside lane because the emergency lane had been demolished.

A Ford Ka hit his van, crushing it against a guardrail. Charles Scripps, a 78-year-old passenger in the Ford, was also killed when he was hit by a carriage.

A smart highway uses the emergency lane as a driving lane, but numerous coroners have found that removing it contributed to the deaths of people in broken-down vehicles.

After waiting four years for her husband’s inquest, Ms Jacobs, 85, said it was “disgraceful and disappointing” that the coroner has agreed to a National Highway’s request not to expand the scope of the hearing to consider the state’s responsibility to preserve a citizen’s right to life.

She added: “I wanted National Highways held accountable for removing the emergency lane safety that meant my
man had nowhere to go safely.

“It used the full power of a very powerful legal team against an 85-year-old widow. Derek would be alive today if there had been an emergency lane. It’s that simple.”

National Highways said: “Our deepest sympathies remain with the families.”

The inquest will take place this week in Chesterfield, Derbyshire.